According to reports from The Express, Liverpool and Manchester United will go head-to-head for the services of League One prodigy Rico Henry in January.
The 18-year-old, hailed as ‘the new Ashley Cole’ by manager Dean Smith, has already made 27 first team appearances for the Saddlers and scored twice in September – including a winner against Scunthorpe – to claim the Football League’s Young Player of the Month award.
The prodigious defender’s increasing importance to a Walsall side currently just five points off the League One summit with a game in hand hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Premier League’s top clubs. Earlier this month, he was linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
But according to The Express, it will be a straight-up race between Liverpool and Manchester United to sign Henry in January, with both clubs sending scouts to run the rule over the highly-rated full-back during a 2-1 defeat to Swindon Town on Tuesday night.
However, Walsall boss Smith has insisted that the club are yet to receive any offers for their shining starlet and that it would take a considerable sum to convince them to sell in the coming transfer window.
He said; “It’s going to take a hell of a lot of money to take Rico away from this football club. Every player has a price don’t they? We all know that. But it would take a very big offer and I’m not sure he’d want to go, at the moment, as well. Despite all the clubs linked, nobody has approached the football club. He wants to keep developing and playing in first-team football games.”