Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Patrick Roberts, after it emerged the young midfielder plans to sign a professional contract with Fulham, reports the Sunday People.

The highly-rated 16-year-old had been heavily linked with a move away from Craven Cottage, as a clutch of the country's biggest clubs attempt to lure him away from west London.

Red Devils boss David Moyes has been credited with an interest in bringing Roberts to Old Trafford, as he regards the talented teenager as a potential star of the future.

However, Manchester United's hopes of securing the player's long-term future now looks uncertain, with Roberts set to pen a deal with Fulham on his 17th birthday in February.

Roberts has been earning rave reviews in the Cottagers' Academy, alongside fellow Manchester United target Moussa Dembele.

Dembele is verging on a first-team breakthrough in Rene Meulensteen's side, but Roberts remains some way off, given his tender years.

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