Manchester United have completed the signing of former Manchester City youth prospect Sadiq El Fitouri, with the defender putting pen to paper on an 18-month contract after impressing during a trial match, according to the Daily Mail.
Initially spotted by Paul Scholes and Phil Neville, Fitouri took part in a friendly match between United’s U21 side and a selection of fringe players looking to maintain fitness. In the match the likes of Adnan Januzaj and former Barcelona hero Victor Valdes featured, but it was Fitouri who apparently stole the show.
Having failed to make the grade at City, the 20-year-old joined up with Salford City - coincidentally owned by Scholes and Neville - and did enough during the Evo Stick Premier League side’s fixture against Kendall Town on January 3 to convince the pair to recommend him for a trial.
Since then he’s continued to look sharp in training, and the powers that be are sufficiently satisfied with his ability that they’ve handed him a contract that will run until at least mid-2016.
Of course whether or not he’ll feature at all for Louis van Gaal’s first-team remains to be seen, with both Rafael da Silva and Antonio Valencia blocking his path to the right-back slot, but his addition is nonetheless promising to see.
Indeed certain rumours of late have suggested that Van Gaal isn’t content to keep his options stuck between Rafael and Valencia when it comes to the right-hand side of his defence, with neither having done enough to leave him feeling assured.
As such the Dutchman may be on the lookout for someone who can occupy that area, with Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne the most obvious target.
What the future holds
Yet if Fitouri can continue to capture the attentions of the club’s senior ambassadors it’s only a matter of time before Van Gaal will have to make a decision on him, and though the chances are slim he could be presented with a way into the first-team fold.
One player who won’t be competing with him for the Van Gaal’s attention is Belgian right-back Marnick Vermijl. The 23-year-old is having a medical with Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen today as he’s grown frustrated with the lack of opportunities he’s been given at Old Trafford.