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Man United signing this Man City teenager for £1.35m could be a smart move for the future

Charlie McNeill

Why Man United should re-sign young striker Charlie McNeill

According to the Machester Evening News, Man United are expected to complete the signing of teenage striker Charlie McNeill from bitter rivals Man City for a fee that could rise to £1.35million.

As per the report, the 17-year-old started his youth career at United but left for City on a £12,000 deal six years ago, in search of greener pastures. However, the youngster is set for a return to his former club after struggling for playtime in City’s U-18 ranks. 

Charlie McNeill
Charlie McNeill in action for Man City at the U-18 level (Getty Images)

McNeill, an England U-16 international, has been credited with a staggering 600 goals at youth level but has featured only 8 times for Man City’s U-18 side over the past couple of seasons.

It has been claimed that United have agreed to pay City an initial fee of £750,000, potentially rising to £1.35m with add-ons and performance-related bonuses. The agreement also includes a sell-on clause that entitles Pep Guardiola’s side to a certain percentage of any future sale of the player. 

United’s youth recruitment drive

Manchester United have grabbed the headlines on several occasions with their youth recruitment drive in a summer where Donny van de Beek has been the only senior addition to the first-team squad so far.

Having secured big-money deals for Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes over the past year or so, the Red Devils have made it a priority to enrich their academy ranks with some burgeoning young talent from across the continent this time around.

Man City starlet Charlie McNeil at centre of transfer tug of war between European giants - Mirror Online
Charlie McNeil (L) has scored 600 goals in his youth career (Getty Images)

The likes of Alvaro Fernandez, Marc Jurado and Alejandro Garancho have been roped in from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively. Meanwhile, Norwegian starlet Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Joe Hugill, Logan Pye and Czech goalkeeper Radek Vitek have also joined United’s youth ranks.

To that end, Manchester United completing a deal to re-sign Charlie McNeill would represent yet another smart piece of business with one eye on the future. The 17-year-old boasts an excellent track record across various age groups, which clearly suggests that he has the raw potential to evolve into a future star.

McNeill has only played a handful of games for City at the U-18 level, meaning that the teenager would need to prove his worth at United in the same age group before staking a claim for a promotion to the U-23 side. 

The 17-year-old will need to fight it out with new signings Hugill and Garancho for a spot in front of goal for the U-18s next season if a move back to Old Trafford does materialise.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer adamant to end the summer with a new right-winger – utdreport
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Getty Images)

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s confidence in the club’s academy prospects has been well-documented since the Norwegian took charge at the helm of affairs back in 2018. The likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the manager’s policy. United should, therefore, work towards continuing the supply line of talents from the academy to the first-team.

Charlie McNeill might have struggled for playtime at Man City but he remains an exciting prospect with plenty of untapped potential. United could certainly benefit from that if they sign the young Englishman and manage to get the best out of him.

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