Manchester United have reportedly agreed personal terms with young Sunderland forward Joe Hugill according to Football Insider.
The report claims that Hugill will sign a scholarship deal with the Premier League giants, which will become a professional contract when he turns 17 in October of this year, with a reported fee of £300,000 being quoted over a deal between both clubs.
Hugill has caught the eye with a number of impressive performances for Sunderland’s youth teams, featuring for both the club’s Under-18s and Under-23s side this season.
He scored a brace on his Premier League 2 debut for Sunderland’s Under-23s team, although they were beaten 4-2 by West Ham United.
Hugill is yet to make his debut for the Sunderland first team, who are currently managed by Phil Parkinson.
The Black Cats have struggled for consistency at times this season, but are still in contention to win promotion back into the Championship this term.
Sunderland are currently sat seventh in the League One table, but are just three points adrift of the automatic promotion places with nine games remaining of their season.
However, that promotion push has been put on hold for the time being due to recent off-the-field events, with no scheduled return date being put in place as of yet.
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This will be frustrating for Sunderland.
The club would have been keen to keep hold of Hugill, who clearly has a bright future ahead of him, with a number of reputable clubs interested in landing his signature heading towards the summer.
Manchester United are a huge club though, and it’s clearly a move that he was keen to pursue. It does beg the question as to whether Sunderland would have been able to keep him at the club if they were playing their football at a higher level than League One.
They simply need to win promotion this season, as they’ve been somewhat of a ‘sleeping giant’ in English football for far too long now.