By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Manchester United triallist Matthew Knox has huge potential, according to his current manager.
Livingston striker Knox, 16, is being assessed by United this week after already undergoing trials at Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.
Manchester City and Chelsea are also tracking the the player’s progress and his manager at Livingston, former Scotland international David Hopkin, is convinced Knox can reach the top.
“He’s got the fitness levels and he’s still going to develop because he’s only just turned 16,” Hopkin told Capital City Press. “With what he can do with the ball, taking on information and retaining information, he has got a right good chance and he’s a real down to earth kid too.
“We’ll make sure he does not get distracted by the hype. He’s already been down and had a few trials at big clubs like Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham.
“He’s done very well and there’s a lot of managers that I know that have been phoning me asking about him.”
Knox became Livingston’s youngest ever player when he made his debut with a late run-out in the 4-1 Boxing Day win over St Mirren, coming just four days after his 16th birthday
He was on the bench for Livingston at the weekend as they lost 4-1 to Rangers in the Scottish Championship but travelled to Manchester on Monday and will spend the week at United’s Carrington training complex.
Knox’s father Matthew has said his son is on the verge of signing for a Premier League club this month.
Knox senior said: “He’s had interest from Manchester United and Chelsea and he’s been on trials at Spurs, Everton and Liverpool.
Look out for a new name today. 16 year old Matthew Knox has come through the ranks at LFC to earn a spot on the bench at St Mirren.
— Livingston FC (@LiviFCOfficial) December 26, 2015
“We’ve had interest from another club in the last couple of days, and we’re pretty close to doing a deal – I can’t say who but I think that’s where he’ll end up.”
The trials at the Premier League big hitters have proved to be beneficial to the youngster.
“He scored for Spurs – he actually scored for all the clubs he’s been on trial at – but he scored for Spurs in a North London derby [practice match] against Arsenal – and not many 16-year-old kids can say that,” his father added.
Knox has been at Livingston since he was 11 after being given his chance by former Celtic and Portsmouth forward Mark Burchill.
Hopkin added: “It’s about him developing here for the time being and it just all depends on how things go.
“I’m sure if he does well in the first team and some club puts in an offer, the club will look at it but we’ll make sure we look after him first. He’s the number one priority.”