West Ham United are in talks over the signing of 16-year-old forward Mipo Odubeko - who scored 35 goals for Manchester United's academy last season.
Odubeko, a Republic of Ireland Under-17 international, rejected an offer from the north west club in July and left Old Trafford following the expiration of his contract. United have continued their attempts to convince the player to re-sign since then, but without success. Odubeko and his representatives believe his development will be best served away from Manchester.
A number of clubs across Europe have shown interest in the player - Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich among them - though the wish of the player is to remain in England. The Hammers now find themselves in the box seat and are locked in negotiations with United - a team they beat 2-0 in the Premier League last weekend.
While Odubeko has technically left the club, United would be owed a series of compensation payments, as well as a sell on clause, were West Ham to complete the signing without negotiations taking place. 90min has learned, however, that talks between the two clubs are continuing to ensure the Hammers work the best deal for themselves.
Both clubs rate Odubeko highly. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown since being handed the role in December last year his willingness to give youth a chance - with Mason Greenwood among the latest to make his mark on the first team - and there was a feeling at United that Odubeko could have been among the next crop to break through.
West Ham are, however, optimistic they will complete the deal. The intention from the east London club is to draft Odubeko into first team training sessions, though initially he'll be given his chance to impress in the club's Under-23 team. There is hope among those at West Ham that he'll break into the first team at some point before the end of the season.
The likes of Feyenoord, Genoa, Burnley and Newcastle have also been credited with interest in Odubeko in the past few months, though West Ham now consider themselves close to pulling off the deal.