Etihad Stadium side set to conduct Old Trafford raid.
MANCHESTER UNITED are facing a fight to keep two of their brightest young stars out of the hands of rivals Manchester City.
Teenagers ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba, key figures in United’s Fa Youth cup-winning team last season, are both out of contract at the end of the season.
And City are heading a queue of top clubs ready to pounce if one or both refuse to sign new deals and become free agents.
United would be entitled to compensation for development costs because both players are under 24, but it would be a bitter blow to lose such talented youngsters – especially to their closest rivals. Sir Alex Ferguson wants to keep Morrison and Pogba, both 18, and has included them in his first-team squad and Carling Cup ties.
But United have yet to open talks with England youth international Morrison, amid concerns that a lucrative new deal could lead to more off-field problems.
He escaped a custodial sentence this year after pleading guilty to witness intimidation and further angered United when he admitted criminal damage.
United have started talks with France youth international Pogba, but Ferguson admitted they were having “difficulties” negotiating a new deal with his agent.
SOURCE: Daily Express
Roberto Mancini has probably realised that it’s cheaper to build for the future by bringing in young talents who’s contracts are coming to an end than to spend large sums of money on teenagers who could fail to live up to their potential.
Man United have been in talks with French midfielder Paul Pogba for some time and the former Le Havre man is said to be concerned as his lack of Premier League playing time, further exacerbated by the fact that fellow youngsters Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley have all become pivotal members of Ferguson’s first team plans.
Ravel Morrison has had some off field problems in recent months but is a player with obvious ability. The real worry for Sir Alex Ferguson may be the fact that their local rivals may be willing to offer big salaries to the teenage pair and the form shown by the club may see Morrison and Pogba consider the contentious switch across the city.
Mancini has a number of quality youngsters of his own coming through. In fact 12 of Man City’s reserve academy are out on loan with the likes of John Guidetti, Reece Wabara, Ryan McGivern, Ben Mee and Luca Scapuzzi all considered hot prospects.
Indeed many of Man City’s first team squad are of tender years with regulars Joe Hart, Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Micah Richards, and Adam Johnson all 24 years old or younger.