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Fleetwood Town

Barcelona set sights on League One defender in potential bargain transfer move

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Fleetwood Town defender James Hill is the subject of audacious transfer interest from global football giants Barcelona, according to the Daily Mail.

The 19-year-old, who is the son of former Preston North End and Sheffield United left-back Matt Hill, made his senior debut for the Cod Army at the age of 16 and has been a regular in the club’s first-team since last season, where he made 28 League One appearances.

Hill has continued his run in the starting 11 under Simon Grayson, playing 13 times this season and scoring once, and his form in League One has seen him not only capped by England’s under-20’s but he’s also earned a call-up to the nation’s under-21 setup this month.

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Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley confirmed that bids were rejected from the Premier League in the summer for the talented teen and that most of the top flight of English football had put in requests to scout the centre-back – but they were surprised when Barcelona turned up to watch the Lancashire side against Burton Albion in October.

Blaugrana scouts came on a mission to watch Hill according to the Mail but it’s unclear as to whether they were suitably impressed – they can however approach the player on a pre-contract agreement from the beginning of January if they want to acquire him on a cut-price deal.

The Verdict

If you would have said a few months ago that Barcelona would have wanted a Fleetwood Town player you would have been laughed off – but Hill’s progression has been rapid.

He has been tested by a whole host of tough League One strikers and even though the Cod Army have a lowly position right now, Hill has been the standout performer.

It’s pretty much inevitable that he will be departing the club in either January or at the end of the season, but they’ll get money for him regardless whether that is a transfer fee or compensation.

There could be a bit of a bidding war in a few months time, especially as he’s now been recognised by England’s under-21’s, and Barcelona could very well be in that mix.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Barcelona set sights on League One defender in potential bargain transfer move

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