Manchester United are set to sign 16-year-old Aliou Badara Traoré from French side Sarcelles, ahead of rivals Man City and Juventus.
A box-to-box midfielder, Traoré was highly regarded at Paris Saint-Germain before leaving the club in summer 2016. He had been tipped to captain French national sides at various levels.
Utd to sign midfielder Traoré
However, he's now set to join United after a successful trial in February 2017, scoring in a 7-0 friendly victory against Burnley.
United scouts have been watching him since his trial, including at the Montaigu Tournament, a youth international competition. Traoré scored in a 7-1 victory against Cameroon for France's under-16 side, who he's played for on a number of occasions. L'Equipe suggested on Wednesday that the deal will go through.
Traoré is a powerful box-to-box central midfielder but has previously stood in at centre-back when required.
16-year-old Traoré had interest from Juventus and City
It's a victory for United, with Juventus and City both reportedly also interested and being beaten to Traoré's signature.
The Reds will continue to compete with their city rivals for young players throughout the summer. In 2016, they really began to recruit 16-year-olds from abroad having been cautious in previous seasons, although Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Andreas Pereira and Adnan Januzaj are examples of when they did. City have been doing it extensively for some years. United signed Tahith Chong from Feyenoord, Nishan Burkart from FC Zurich and Josh Bohui from Brentford last summer. All have been key players for the under-18s.
Utd academy have busy summer of tournaments ahead
Nicky Butt heads up the academy and has sparked life into a set-up struggling to match its previous heights. This summer sees the Reds playing at youth tournaments across the age groups and across the globe including the Youdan Trophy, Otten Cup, SuperCupNI and Oakham Trophy.