By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Manchester United have reached an agreement in principle to sign teenage Italian defender Luca Ercolani, Football Insider sources understand.

The highly rated young centre-back has agreed the terms of a United deal after impressing while on trial at Old Trafford in recent months.

Ercolani will join Italian Serie D club Forli, with a compensation figure for the transfer to be decided by Fifa due to his age.

The Italy Under-16 international has long been tracked by United after being watched by scout David Williams, who also spotted Federico Macheda and Giuseppe Rossi.

Both Rossi and Macheda showed promise at youth levels but neither kicked on to fully integrate themselves into the first team when Sir Alex Ferguson was manager.

Ercolani will go straight into the academy set-up when the paperwork on his deal is completed.

The teenager has posted several pictures on his Instagram account of himself at United’s Carrington training complex in recent months, including one alongside Under-21s goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.