Manchester United have a fine tradition for nurturing youth into prodigious talent but – with the exception of Marcus Rashford – have fallen behind neighbours Manchester City when it comes to stars arriving straight off the academy conveyor belt.
To close the gap United are reportedly willing to poach top scouts from the City setup after chief executive Ed Woodward demanded to find out why the Old Trafford had fallen behind.
The Sunday Mirror claims United have highlighted four scouts at City they want to cross the divide but could face difficulty in luring them. City have what is widely believed to be the best academy facilities in the world with Brian Marwood, the City chief executive, eager to keep hold of his team there.
Manchester United Chief Ed Woodward has made it clear that money is no object by offering the quartet pay-rises of up to 50 percent on what they are earning at the Etihad.
One scout has told City that he is leaving for the red side of Manchester.
But City chiefs – led by Brian Marwood, who has built City’s Academy and scouting structure over the past eight years – are hopeful that they can keep the three talent spotters who are yet to decide on their futures.
at youth level, their results have been so impressive in local derbies that last season United were thinking about refusing to play their rivals after City humiliated their Under-14s team 9-0.
United dominated youth development in Manchester for decades.