Mon 13 May 2024, 13:30 · Ash Harrison

Report: Manchester United set to make first move for 16-year-old long-term Newcastle target

Report: Manchester United set to make first move for 16-year-old long-term Newcastle target
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Manchester United are set to be the first club to make their move for 16-year-old sensation currently playing for Sunderland.

Newcastle United have been long-term admirers for youngster, Chris Rigg, but it was Sunderland who were able to persuade him to sign up to their scholarship programme last year.

However, next month Rigg will turn 17 and will then be eligible to sign his first professional contract. While Sunderland are hoping that he will once again choose them, there is a lot of interest from elsewhere.

The Northern Echo claims that Newcastle and Man United are joined by Arsenal, Borussia Dortumund and Bayer Leverkusen in their interest.

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Chris Rigg is wanted by several top clubs

Rigg is eligible for a professional contract when he turns 17 next month

Rigg broke into the Sunderland first-team this season making eight starts and 13 substitute appearances and as such, may choose to remain on Wearside where he is more likely to be given first-team football.

Due to being on a scholarship with a year left to run, Sunderland would be due compensation from any side who wished to take Rigg away, but they will no doubt feel that keeping him would be far more beneficial to the club than any fee they'd be likely to receive.

It will be Manchester United who will test that theory first, according to The Northern Echo with the Red Devils set to table a bit soon.


Getting one over on the Mackems is extra incentive

Newcastle's interest stemmed from the days when Dan Ashworth was in situ, so how coincidental is Manchester United's sudden interest we wonder? Ashworth, of course, shouldn't be working in any capacity for Man United while he's on gardening leave as the two clubs battle over the compensation payment, but there is definitely an air of suspicion about this one.

It remains to be seen whether Newcastle follow up their interest in Rigg. If they don't that would suggest even more that he was an Ashworth target and something untoward is going on.

It's pure speculation and tin-foil-hattery by us, but it's fun to speculate.

Hopefully, Newcastle do follow up on Rigg as he's got bags of potential for one thing, but taking one of Sunderland's hottest prospects just adds another level of satisfaction.