Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough are set to beat Manchester City in the race to sign Sunderland youngster Morten Spencer, according to reports from Norwegian media outlet TV2.
The 14-year old has caught the eye in the last year after impressing at the Academy of Light, and was called up to the England under-15 squad at the beginning of this season.
Premier League champions Manchester City were believed to be interested in the exciting attacker, with the hierarchy at the Etihad Stadium keen to bring young English talent into the club, having also been linked with Leeds United’s Jack Clarke.
Reports from The Sun claimed that the Citizens would have had to pay a compensation fee in the region of £200,000, as well as being entitled to pay the Black Cats any future sell-on clauses and profits.
But Spencer’s mother Heidi, who hails from Norwegian descent, revealed to TV2 that the youngster is set to snub interest from City, and make the short trip to Middlesbrough.
She said: “Manchester City is one of the clubs that has shown interest, in the beginning, Morten would probably also go there, but that would mean that he had to move away from home to live and play there.”
“Eventually, we have felt that City is such a large club with quite a few talents that are eventually sent out on loans – therefore, we have looked at other alternatives. It’s so close that we can stay where we live now. and in the long term, we believe this is the best solution for Morten’s development.”
Middlesbrough have many talented youngsters in their ranks, and Tony Pulis will be hoping that Spencer is another one for the future at the Riverside.
Boro sit three points clear of 7th position in the Championship table, after a solitary strike from Britt Assombalonga secured all three points for Pulis’ men against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend.
This is a major blow for Sunderland, as you would imagine that City would pay a lot more for Spencer than Sunderland would.
Fair play to the youngster however, a typical 14-year old would have probably moved to City for the money rather than his career.
But it seems as if the family have carefully thought about this move, and it is the best decision for the youngster – Middlesbrough isn’t a million miles away from Sunderland, so he may not have to relocate and he will feel settled.