Manchester United are preparing an “audacious bid” to sign West Ham youngster Reece Oxford, who is also a reported target of several Premier League clubs including Chelsea and Liverpool, in the January transfer window.
Reece is expected to sign a two-and-a-half-year contract with West Ham when he turns 17 this month. The Hammers cannot tie him down with a long contact because FA rules do not allow players under the age of 18 from signing three-year-deals.
Oxford made his West Ham debut at the age of 16 years, 198 days in a Europa League qualifier in July. He is a highly rated talent in England, and West Ham are determined to keep him at the club.
Chelsea and Liverpool are also reportedly interested in signing him, as the club seek to add home grown players to their squads. However, according to reports from The Times, Manchester United are likely to make the first move next month with a £8m bid and will return again with a better offer if it is rejected.
It is not the first time United have shown an interest in the youngster. The Red Devils reportedly tried to sign the England youth international last season, but the youngster wan’t ready to leave West Ham as he was certain of getting more first team chances at Upton Park. His decision to stay was vindicated as he was promoted to the first team squad by Slaven Bilic at the start of the season.
However, Oxford has been left frustrated at his lack of playing time in recent months. He has made two further appearances for the club, since making his debut in July.
Matt Hughes notes that Oxford’s priority is to re-establish himself as an active member of Bilic’s squad and he hopes to get more chances during the busy festive period.