Manchester United youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe could earn promotion to the first team next season, according to reserve-team boss Warren Joyce.

The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at Darren Ferguson's Peterborough United, and produced some impressive performances in helping Posh retain their Championship status.

Tunnicliffe won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award in 2011 as he helped United's Under-18 side win the FA Youth Cup, while decisions over another reserve-team star, Player of the Year Michael Keane, is also under consideration.

Ryan Tunnicliffe
Tunnicliffe could be given several first-team opportunities next season.

"There's bound to be interest from the Championship as they both did well last year," Joyce told the Hull Daily Mail.

"The reserves won everything and Keane won the (reserves') player of the year.

"For sure he will go out on loan but Tunnicliffe may well be around the first team."

Tunnicliffe would be the third graduate from the United academy to the Old Trafford first team in recent years, after both Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley.

While Welbeck had enjoyed brief opportunities with United prior to his loan spell with Sunderland, Cleverley made his first appearances for the 12-time Premier League champions last term.

Both made telling contributions throughout the season, with Welbeck netting nine goals domestically, while Cleverley proved himself to be a pivotal creative influence during the early weeks of the season.

It will be hoped that Tunnicliffe, who is in the mould of Cleverley, can make a similar impact, as the United's production line continues to produce stars of the future.

Cleverley emerged into the United first-team after a spell on loan at Watford, and with Tunnicliffe having spent the season at London Road, hopes are high his experience in the Championship will stand him in good stead come his Premier League debut.

United have already signed Japanese international Shinji Kagawa and striker Nick Powell ahead of the new season, and the intention to promote Tunnicliffe to the first team could signal the end of the club's spending.

Sir Alex Ferguson will hope to welcome back Darren Fletcher and captain Nemanja Vidic for the new season also, after the pair missed most of the last season through illness and injury.