Man Utd beat Newcastle United & Chelsea to winger deal as midfielder transfer imminent

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Manchester United have tied down 16-year-old winger Bendito Mantato to a new deal after serious interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

Mantato has signed a scholarship deal at Man United which includes a pre-contract agreement that will be triggered once he turns 17. Manchester Evening News reported that Mantato had attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Brighton.

While Newcastle were keen on the young winger, they would have been required to pay a six-figure compensation fee to Manchester United. The Magpies have recently settled on a compensation fee with Manchester United for sporting director Dan Ashworth.

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In his first week at Old Trafford, Ashworth oversaw a new contract for head coach Erik ten Hag and securing the future of one of the club’s top academy prospects. A scholarship including a pre-contract agreement is a sign of the faith Manchester United have in Mantato to develop into a first-team player in the future.

The winger scored six goals in seven Under-18 Premier League matches for Manchester United during the 2023-24 campaign, including four in a 5-2 win over Blackburn Rovers back in March. He also made his Premier League 2 debut for the Under-21s during the season and was capped at Under-16s level for England.

While Newcastle have missed out on Mantato, the club have been very active in recruiting academy players so far this summer.

The Magpies have already agreed scholarships with the likes of Aaron Epia from Everton and CJ Afumuzor from Portsmouth in addition to goalkeeper Tyler Jones, striker Kayden Lucas and winger Guy Bloomer among others.

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The Magpies are also set to sign 16-year-old midfielder Rory Finneran from Blackburn Rovers. Finneran made his first-team debut for Blackburn in the FA Cup back in January and has featured regularly for the club’s Under-21s side.

He will sign an initial scholarship at Newcastle but will be eligible to agree his first professional contract once he turns 17 next February.

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