LINE-UP: Manchester United team to play Chelsea

According to The Independent, Manchester United and Manchester City are preparing for a summer pursuit of West Ham’s Reece Oxford. He was a torn in Arsenal’s flesh earlier this season when he announced his arrival in the Hammers’ 3-1 victory over the Gunners.

Oxford has played for the club’s U-21 team all season and even made his Premier League debut (marking out star player Mesut Ozil in the game) on the first day of the season against Arsenal at the Emirates which the Hammers won 2-0. Oxford thus in the process became the club’s youngest ever player after making his debut aged 16 years and 198 days.

Manchester United are in need of a defensive midfielder as the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinteiger and Maroune Fellaini have all failed to replicate the form they displayed in their previous clubs. Oxford was watched by United’s scouts during West Ham’s U-21 win over Hull last week.

Another factor that has made Oxford to be high on demand is the fact that the versatile midfielder is English and is one of the only talented few in the country.

Arsenal and Manchester City are also interested in signing the lifelong Arsenal fan who was released by Arsenal earlier in his career. Presently it appears that Manchester United are in driving seat in his signing despite the fact that Arsenal are ready to bid £10 million for him in the summer . The problem for all biding suitors for the player is the fact that West Ham are moving into a new Olympic stadium from next season with a seating capacity of 60,000 and also posses the financial power to keep hold of most of their players as a result of the new TV rights deal that starts next season.

West Ham’s co-chairman David Gold made the following statement regarding the future of the player saying , “He is the highest-paid 17-year -old in the history of the club and has the highest signing -on fee of any 17-year -old who has ever been here.”

“He signed for two years at the age of 17 and that’s the maximum length allowed. That can make a club who has invested in and developed a player very vulnerable and it can make you worry “.

“But we are optimistic he will be here for a long time. We will keep him. He is exceptional talent”.

This season Oxford has played seven games for West Ham in the Premier League.