Feyenoord youth team star Tahith Chong has confirmed that his move to Manchester United is close to fruition after his current employers dragged their heels in making him an offer to remain at the club. The Netherlands U17 international caught the Red Devils' eye when he featured for the Eredivisie club's U17 side during the Premier Cup tournament, which is held at the Carrington training base.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal and Chelsea were also interested in signing the young striker, but have lost out to the 20-time English champions, who have begun recruiting heavily to strengthen their youth setup following the appointment of Nicky Butt as the head of the academy. Chong's arrival will be their third of the year, following the signings of United States U19 international Matthew Olosunde and Republic of Ireland's Lee O'Connor.
Chong has been on the Old Trafford club's radar for over a year. However, they have been unable to secure his signature because of the player's insistence to stay at Feyenoord and continue his football development in his homeland. He revealed that he is in talks with the club over a new deal and hoped to reach a successful conclusion.
"Feyenoord are and remain my first choice and we are still negotiating. It's true that Manchester United are interested in me, but I want to stay at Feyenoord," Fr12.nl quoted Chong as saying in January.
"There is absolutely no question that I'm leaving the club. Feyenoord have come up with a plan of how they see me in the coming years. I am hopeful that it will be all right and that I'm going to sign a contract with Feyenoord."
The 16-year-old striker, however, has confirmed now that the Eredivisie club's offer came too late, as he looks to have been already swayed by the facilities on offer at United. He will join compatriot Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who also arrived from the Eredivisie at the start of Louis van Gaal's reign at Old Trafford.
"It was my intention to stay at Feyenoord, but no plan was made for me. When I said I wanted to leave, they made a plan. That was too late," the Dutch U17 international forward said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"At Manchester United I had a better feeling. You can feel it immediately when you walk in a club," he added.