Manchester United have kept tabs on Middlesbrough midfielder Hayden Hackney for a while and their scouts watched him last night, according to the Daily Mail.
The 21-year-old bagged the only goal in the first leg of the semi-final of the League Cup between the Championship club and Chelsea at Riverside Stadium on Tuesday night.
Hackney would have impressed the Red Devils’ representatives with his accomplished all-round performance against the Blues, but they are not the only club keen on recruiting his services.
Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are also admirers of the England youth international and were watching him against Chelsea.
Hackney featured behind the striker last night as an attacking midfielder, and Boro manager Michael Carrick was impressed with his performance, dubbing him a ‘hugely talented’ player.
Man United could do with such a hardworking player within their ranks, and a summer swoop could be on the cards.
Middlesbrough are currently 11th in the Championship, with four points separating them from the play-off places.
They are eyeing Premier League promotion after losing to Coventry City in the semi-final of the play-offs last term, and Man United will only have a realistic chance of landing Hackney if Carrick fails to get his club up again.
The youngster has the potential to become a top-flight star, and while he is primarily a central midfielder, he often plays as a deep-lying playmaker due to his ability in possession of the ball.
Man United need such a hungry player, and the fact that he is a homegrown player is an added advantage.
Clubs must have at least eight players trained by clubs from the same national league under UEFA player quota rules to feature in European competitions, with four being from their own youth system, which would make the acquisition of the Boro star a wise move for the Red Devils.
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