Manchester United have a strong tradition of recruiting the best young talents in the UK at the academy level and are making positive steps towards signing arguably the standout youth player in Northern Ireland.
Coran Madden, 14, has been labelled the ‘Golden Child’ and is looking to secure a move to an English team to continue his development.
Due to new trial rules at the youth level, Madden is only allowed to choose two clubs to visit this season.
“Every Premier League club has asked about him,” Marc Smyth, Head of Youth at Cliftonville said, as quoted by BelfastLive. “But with the new rules a young player can only choose two clubs each year. So Coran has chosen Manchester United and Newcastle United.
“We also had interest from Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton and other clubs like Southampton and Leicester City. He is such a gifted player.”
Man United will no doubt be thrilled to have beaten fierce rivals Man City and Liverpool to the punch in bringing Madden to Carrington on trial, and Smyth believes that The Red Devils, as well as Newcastle, were effective in selling their projects.
“Those clubs sold their vision to Coran and his family,” he said. “All we can do is guide them in terms of what we think would be good for the boy and the family. Manchester United and Newcastle United are massive clubs, and spoke well with the family and wanted to bring them over.”
As for the kind of player Madden is, the ‘Golden Child’ is able to play across the front line, on either flank or in the number ten position.
The SuperCupNI, a youth tournament based in Northern Ireland which took place last month and which Man United took part in, was a real chance to shine for young Madden.
And shine he did, winning the Player of the Tournament award, despite being up against talents from some of the best and most well-funded academies in Europe.
It will now be up to Madden to continue impressing upon his visit to Carrington, while Manchester United are sure to pull out all the stops to woo him and his family.
Coran Madden could well follow fellow trialist Chris Atherton – the youngest senior player in UK history – in potentially joining the club’s hallowed academy.