Fulham plan to offer Patrick Roberts a new contract in an attempt to keep him away from the clutches of interested Premier League clubs, manager Kit Symons has confirmed.
The 18-year-old has been restricted to just two starts in the Championship this season but is still rated as one of the brightest prospects in English football.
Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham are all interested in signing Roberts, who also represents England at Under-19 level.
His current contract has just over 12 months to run and Fulham could be pushed to cash in on the forward if he refuses to sign a new contract. But Symons has confirmed that there are already plans to hold talks with Roberts when the season finishes.
He also attempted to explain why he has not featured as much as expected.
Symons told The Mirror: "Pat will be offered a new contract.
"We will look to tie up our best young players. He's a fantastic prospect.
"It's a little bit early for him to play Championship football in the position we're in.
"He's a sensible lad. I'd be a bit worried if he didn't want to play but he understands the situation and the predicament of the club."
While the glitz and glamour of the Premier League will be tempting for Roberts, it will be a big risk for him to leave Craven Cottage for one of England's biggest clubs.
Should Fulham establish themselves in the Championship next season then they will be able to grant Roberts a greater role in the first-team and he will get plenty more playing time than, say, at Old Trafford.
But there is also a lot to be said for the excellent level of coaching Roberts would receive if he left for the Premier League elite. Chelsea have several England youngsters coming through their system and Roberts would no doubt be tempted to join that contigent.
Similarly, Arsenal have a core of English players in their first-team and Arsene Wenger has a proven track record of giving chances to young players.
Either way, there will be a big decision coming for Roberts when that contract lands on the table this summer.
Should Patrick Roberts stay at Fulham or should he answer the call should one of the Premier League's biggest clubs come calling? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
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