According to ESPN, Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton are targeting Wigan Athletic’s highly-rated striker Joe Gelhardt. The 16-year-old, who broke into the Latics’ u18 squad as a 15-year-old, is regarded as one of the most exciting players of his generation and could have a bright future ahead of him.
Wigan are desperate to keep Gelhardt at the club, but increased interest in the teenager could see them resigned to losing him. ESPN say United, Liverpool and Everton are all ready to lodge an official bid for his signature. If Wigan are met with an offer they can’t refuse, the decision could lie on the striker.
He could have his pick of three clubs this summer and will want to join a side who pride themselves in developing youth talent that eventually reach the first-team. Gelhardt will also want a clear pathway into the senior side as it may not be too long before he’s knocking on the door.
For all the criticism of him overlooking young talent in favour of more experienced players, United manager Jose Mourinho has given academy graduates Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay 4263 minutes of Premier League football in the last 12 months.
Whether United can convince Gelhardt to snub the two Merseyside clubs in favour of Old Trafford remains to be seen, however.