Former Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has advised Ryan Sessegnon to join a club with the stature of Manchester United over Tottenham Hotspur and hopes the talented teenager will not be distracted by the gaggle of agents who will inevitably try and muscle in on his career.
Sessegnon has two-and-a-half years left on his contract with Craven Cottage but is widely expected to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season. Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan confirmed that the England youth international will remain in west London until the end of the current campaign, but it remains to be seen if his message is listened to by the host of interested parties.
Sessegnon has featured in every league match for Slavisa Jokanovic's side this season and has been key to Fulham's recent resurgence which has seen them close the gap between them and the play-off spots to just one point.
His performances have only heightened interest in him from United, Tottenham et al, but Bullard, who spent two-and-a-half injury-troubled years at Craven Cottage, has urged the 17-year-old to focus solely on matters on the pitch, insisting that "nothing else is important".
"Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon has got an important decision to make at some point in the close future, with clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Tottenham all showing interest in him and I'm not surprised," Bullard was quoted as saying by Get West London.
"He will have agents circling like vultures and if I was the boy's old man, I would be adamant that he solely focuses on his football. Nothing else is important at this stage and the best thing that he can do is to keep producing on the field.
"His family have got to know where is best for the boy, then see who's really interested in him."
Clubs from England and all around Europe, including Real Madrid, have been credited with an interest in Sessegnon, but it is United and Tottenham who are seen as the frontrunners for his signature.
Jose Mourinho's side were open to signing the full-back for £25m ($34.5m) and loaning him back to Fulham for the rest of the season, while Spurs, who had the same figure rejected last summer, were hoping to thrash out a £30m double deal for Sessegnon and his brother Steven, who plays at right-back.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has garnered a reputation for developing English talent at Southampton and Tottenham, but Bullard thinks Sessegnon should reject Spurs in favour of a move to a club like United and not waste the chance to join one of football's elite sides.
"The problem you have now is that the lad's development depends on how the manager at the time wants to play... but there's one problem with that: the manager could only be around for two seasons before he gets fired," Bullard said.
"It's a nice position to be in, but difficult choices have to be made. If you ask me, he's got to go to a big club like PSG or Manchester United if they come in for him, because he may never get the opportunity again.
"With all due respect, Tottenham aren't at the same level as those clubs, so he could go there, it might not work out how he'd expect and then he'd have blown his chance to sign with the big boys – you can always step down, but you can't always step up when it suits you."