Mason Holgate
Manchester United have handed a trial to 18-year-old Barnsley right-back Mason Holgate (R) Getty

Manchester United have reportedly handed a trial to highly-rated Barnsley defender Mason Holgate, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Aston Villa were reportedly interested in signing the right-back, who had a breakthrough season with the League One club, and were supposedly ready to offer a fee of around £1m ($1.5m) to take the youngster to Villa Park after he rejected a chance to extend his contract with his current employers.

But United have now moved ahead of their Premier League rivals and handed the youngster a trial with a view to a summer move.

The report claims that the right sided defender has trained at the 20-time English champions' Carrington training base on 15 July and is set to remain at the club until 17 July under the watchful eyes of youth team coaches Warren Joyce and Nicky Butt.

Holgate had an impressive breakthrough season with Barnsley making 22 appearances and scoring one goal. This attracted interest from England's top flight clubs including Arsenal and Tottenham among others.

Daily Mail understands that the 18-year-old defender is keen to impress the youth coaches at United and earn a permanent deal. However, Holgate wants to go on loan and continue his development by playing regular first-team football with a Championship club or is also open to a return to Barnsley.

Meanwhile, Red Devils legend Bran Robson has praised United's new summer acquisitions Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"I think they're great signings. Schneiderlin knows what the Premier League is all about. He can control the midfield area and dictate the pace of the game," Robson told United's official site.

"Schweinsteiger is a world-class player with a fantastic attitude – nobody becomes captain of Bayern and Germany without those qualities," the former United skipper added.