Middlesbrough have reportedly fought off interest from Chelsea, Leeds United, and West Ham United to tie 18-year-old Pharrell Willis down to a new long-term deal.
The attacking midfielder, who was signed from non-league football in 2019, has helped Boro’s age-group side have an impressive season in the U18 Premier League in 2020/21 – scoring eight times as they finished fourth.
The teenager’s future beyond this summer has been unclear as, according to 90Min, Chelsea, West Ham, and Leeds have all taken an interest in Willis.
It seems the North East club have done enough to keep hold of him as the report claims that Boro have agreed terms over a new long-term contract with their in-demand academy prospect.
Willis is said to be happy to remain at the Riverside, with sources indicate that staff at Boro hope he could be competing for first-team football soon.
He’s not the only young player at the Championship club that has turned heads in recent weeks, with Djed Spence linked with a move to the Premier League as well.
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Given the stature of the clubs linked with Willis, this looks like a massive victory for Boro.
The teenager seems to be a player with a very bright future and one that fans of the North East club will no doubt want to see get a chance in years to come.
He’s still got a fair way to go to achieve his potential but holding onto the teenager could turn out to be a move that pays significant dividends in years to come.