Stevenage centre-back Ryan Johnson has secured a week-long trial with Manchester United after impressing Old Trafford scouts with his performances for the League Two outfit and their Under-18 side.
This is according to the Daily Mail, who understand the talented 18-year-old is poised to join up with United at their Carrington training complex.
The teenager will have the chance to impress coaches at United in the hope of securing a permanent move to Old Trafford.
Johnson, who was born in Birmingham in 1996, began his career in West Brom’s youth ranks but left for Stevenage in 2013 in the hope of playing regular first-team football with the Hertfordshire outfit.
The defender subsequently became the youngest debutant in Stevenage’s history, aged 17 years and 215 days. Incidentally, he played that match from left-back, and earned glowing praise from manager Graham Westley.
Still developing and maturing as a centre-back, Johnson has only made a handful of appearances for Stevenage’s first-team this season and is likely to be open to the idea of joining Manchester United’s youth ranks.
Stiff competition at Old Trafford
If he signs for the Red Devils, Johnson will have his work cut out forcing his way into United’s first team. However, as we have seen with Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett this season, Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2 system means there are opportunities for young centre-backs to establish themselves provided they’re good enough.
Manchester United fans are still hoping Van Gaal can strike a deal to sign a top-quality centre-back before the transfer window closes on Monday night.
More ins and outs at United?
Dynamo Kiev’s Austria international Aleksandar Dragović is believed to be one potential transfer target, while Gabriel Paulista is no longer an option after the Brazilian defender completed a move from Villarreal to Arsenal earlier today.
The Red Devils have only made one signing so far this month: former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who made his first appearance for the club in the Under-21 side’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Monday night.