Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly ready to battle it out for Fulham's teenage sensation Patrick Roberts.
The forward, who turned 16 last month, has been a regular starter for the Cottagers' U-18 team this season. Roberts also featured for the England U-17s last week and is now considered as one of the outstanding English footballers in his age group.
Liverpool have been keeping tabs on Roberts for some time now, while United have registered an interest in him only of late, according to Goal.com. The youngster is understood to have impressed the Old Trafford academy chiefs after the Red Devils U-18s hosted Fulham earlier this month.
Martin Jol's side cannot tie Roberts down to a professional contract till he is 17. However, the report claims the west London outfit have a "terms of agreement" with the player that offers the club a good amount of protection for the next 11 months.
Goal.com also states that both United and Liverpool have made an enquiry about the availability of Roberts and are prepared to offer more than £1m in compensation but Fulham are not interested in selling the highly-rated youngster.
Roberts can operate as a supporting striker, a right winger or an attacking midfielder.
RVP: Title Drought Turned me Greyer
Meanwhile, United striker Robin van Persie claims not winning the Premier League title for several years has been a painful experience for him.
The 29-year-old, who arrived at Old Trafford from Arsenal last summer, has scored 19 goals in 29 Premier League appearances in his first season with the Red Devils. United are currently 15 points clear at the head of the English top flight, as van Perise close in on his first ever league title.
"That I'll probably win my first championship is very nice. I'm really thrilled about it. Not winning titles has given me quite some pain and it has made me greyer. I think my move to United came at exactly the right time It shouldn't have been any earlier or any later. Arsenal was for eight years the place to be. But last summer was the perfect moment to sign for United," the Dutchman said.
van Persie scored a brace for the Netherlands against Romania on Tuesday to overtake Dutch legend Johan Cruyff's international tally of 33 goals.