Manchester United have entered the race to sign West Ham wonderkid Reece Oxford as the Hammers look to tie down the prospect to a long-term deal.
West Ham want 15-year-old Oxford to commit his long-term future to the east London club and could promote him from the youth ranks to keep the defender happy while staving off interest from United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
United are thought to be leading the chase to capture Oxford should he decide to leave Upton Park but the England Under-16 international is expected to be offered the privilege of training with the club's first-team more regularly,
Co-owner David Sullivan has spoken of the club's desire to keep Oxford on its books and condemned England's top teams for continually poaching the lesser clubs' best talent, reported the Daily Mail.
"It almost makes you give up on having an academy if they can come in and nick your best 15-year-old. What's the point?," Sullivan said.
Oxford recently featured in a West Ham development squad's 0-0 draw with Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk and is expected to feature again when the side plays semi-pro outfit Sutton United.
The news of United's pursuit of Oxford comes as the Old Trafford club gives a trial to 16-year-old wideman Oscar Borg, touted as the 'next Gareth Bale'.
United would have to part with £220,000 for the teenager, who the Express reports is nicknamed "Gareth" by West Ham coaches for his similar style of play to the Real Madrid star.
United's interest could push West Ham into signing the teenager on a contract to avoid him leaving the club for free.
In other United news, chief executive Ed Woodward has said cash is available for Louis van Gaal to spend on transfer targets.
Speaking to the club's MUTV channel, Woodward said there would also be departures at Old Trafford as the Dutchman builds a team capable of challenging for the Premier League after a disastrous 2013/14 season.