Manchester United could strike a deal to sign Newport Country's highly-rated defender Regan Poole after the 16-year-old impressed on a week-long trial with the Red Devils.
This is according to The Sun, who understand that United officials were impressed by the teenager, who was put through his paces at the Premier League giants' Carrington training ground.
Newport hoping to keep Poole
Poole is currently on the radar of a number of Premier League and Championship clubs, but Newport boss Justin Edinburgh hopes to keep the defender will have the chance to develop into a first-class player at Rodney Parade before moving elsewhere.
“There will be a lot of interest in a player of his quality,” Edinburgh told reporters. “We have to manage him right. I hope to keep him for the near future.”
Flynn hails Poole
Newport's youth development coach Mike Flynn revealed last month that Poole was "absolutely buzzing" to have secured a trial with Manchester United - and went on to explain why the teenager could become a top Premier League player in the future.
"He's literally got most of the attributes that I think he can go on and become a top player," he told reporters. "As long as he keeps working hard and improving and always wanting to learn, he's definitely going to have a great career.
"If the move comes off is down to the club and Manchester United, but I hope it comes off for him because I really think he can go on and make a great career."
Poole to join Man United's youth team?
Should Poole seal a dream move to Manchester United in January, it's presumed that he would continue learning his trade in the club's youth team.
Because of competition for first-team places, it's likely that the Welshman would need to wait several years before making his senior debut.
Louis van Gaal currently has Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Marco Rojo, Tyler Blackett, Paddy McNair and Tom Thorpe all at his disposal.
But the cream will always rise to the top, and if Poole can convince Manchester United's coaches that he can become the real deal then Van Gaal will offer him first-team opportunities.
The Red Devils are still adjusting to life under Van Gaal, who has scraped his controversial 3-4-1-2 formation in favour of a more conventional 4-1-2-1-2 system, with positive results.
But whether Van Gaal will revert back to playing with three centre-backs once his first-choice defenders return from injury remains to be seen.