Manchester United are ‘front-runners’ to sign teenage prodigy Ashley Phillips from Blackburn Rovers

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The Red Devils could make a move this summer.

Manchester United are preparing to battle for the Blackburn Rovers youngster, Ashley Phillips, according to latest reports.

The Red Devils have a long history of bringing talented youth players into their first team picture - with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Anthony Elanga most recently helping to increase the reputation of the club’s academy.

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Now, United are reportedly looking to bring in another teen prodigy to their youth ranks.

The Sun has claimed that the Red Devils and Chelsea are leading the race to sign Blackburn youngster, Ashley Phillips.

The 16-year-old has attracted interest from across the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur and Everton also keen.

However, United and Chelsea’s success with their academies has handed them the advantage in the race for the defender.

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The Blues have seen the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevoh Chalobah burst onto the first team scene in recent years and would also provide Phillips with a good stepping stone.

Who is Ashley Phillips?

Phillips joined Blackburn Rovers from Curzton Ashton and has become one of the Championship club’s most exciting prospects in their history.

The defender broke into Rovers’ Under-18 team last year at only 15 years old and has since been promoted to the Under-23 side.

The 16-year-old is on the verge of making his senior debut already after being named on the bench for an FA Cup tie.

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Tony Mowbray, Head Coach of Blackburn Rovers  Credit: GettyTony Mowbray, Head Coach of Blackburn Rovers  Credit: Getty
Tony Mowbray, Head Coach of Blackburn Rovers Credit: Getty

On Phillips, Rovers’ boss Tony Mowbray told Lancs Live: “He’s 6ft 4in, he’s fast, mobile and can pass it really well. He can use both feet, he’s composed.

“Ash is just a phenomenal young boy; if you were to create a defender in the mould of how you would want one, this kid has got every attribute.

“But he is still just a young boy. He needs time, which is why he’s training with the first-team so that he gets confident and used to the level of intensity.

“He’s an exciting prospect, is all I’d say. But it’s in a position where there is a lot of responsibility.

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“It’s not as easy to put a really talented young defender in as opposed to a talented young striker where it doesn’t matter if he loses the ball every now and then.

“As a defender, you’re judged on keeping the ball out of the net and winning your individual duels.

“He is just a boy but he’s got some amazing attributes. We’ve got high hopes that he can progress quickly.”

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