United in shock Palace fight over non-league sensation


Manchester United face competition from Crystal Palace in the race to sign non-league starlet Michael Chambers.

The Dulwich Hamlets defender has been linked with a handful of professional clubs in recent months, with the Red Devils his highest profile admirers.

However, The Daily Mail reports that Dougie Freedman is hoping to persuade the player to stay in south-east London, with Palace hoping an offer can entice the 17-year-old into a Selhurst Park switch.

The same publication reported in November that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson sent scouts to watch the teenager in an FA Cup youth tie against Oxford.

"Michael is a very talented and sensible boy who we believe has a bright future which is not dependent on any immediate moves," said agent Paolo Vernazza at the time of the interest from Manchester United.

The Ryman League side are no strangers to developing and selling young talent to Football League sides, with teenagers Quade Taylor and Paul McCallum joining Crystal Palace and West Ham respectively in the last 13 months.

Chambers could be the next to move, with Dulwich reportedly braced for his departure after leaving him out of their last match ahead of an imminent exit.

Whether Manchester United win the race or not remains to be seen, but they already have a handful of other young English defenders within their ranks and one of the best academy setup's in the country.

Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley are all involved in the first team at Old Trafford, whilst Ravel Morrison, Ezekiel Fryers and Will Keane are all on the Manchester United fringes after graduating from the youth setup.

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