Newcastle United ‘confident’ of winning race for Sunderland prospect

Newcastle United were knocked out of the FA Cup third round by Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday

Newcastle United remain confident that they will win the race to sign Sunderland youngster Chris Rigg, according to 90min. The 15-year-old made his senior debut for the Black Cats as they beat Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Sunderland’s academy has previously produced the likes of Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson and now it looks like they could have another gem on their hands in Rigg, however the Magpies are eager to lure him to the other side of the North East in the near future. The teenager is widely considered one of the best for his age in the country and is the current captain of England’s U16 side, while he made history on Saturday as he became the Black Cats’ youngest ever outfield player as he was brought on in the second half of their win over Shrewsbury.

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As well as Newcastle, Rigg has earned interest from a number of elite clubs including Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea, however Eddie Howe’s side look to be the favourites given their ties to the midfielder. Despite coming through the ranks on Wearside, it is believed that Rigg and his family are Newcastle fans and he could be tempted by a switch to the Premier League side.

However, while Sunderland are aware they will have little control over the 15-year-old’s decision, they are hopeful they can persuade him to stay with the promise of first team football in the coming seasons - with his position in the matchday squad in recent weeks a little taster for the England youth star. Tony Mowbray’s side have shown their trust in youngsters during the current campaign with one of the youngest squads in England, luring the likes of Dennis Cirkin and Dom Ballard from Tottenham and Arsenal’s academies respectively. The Magpies’ current form in the Premier League would certainly prevent Rigg from worming his way into the side anytime soon.