By Pete O'Rourke

1st Nov, 2019 | 12:12pm

Exclusive: Man United plot move to sign defender from north-west club amid big development

Man United are plotting a move to sign Rochdale right-back next year even though he signed a new contract this week, Football Insider can reveal.

The right-back, 17, starred recently against United, scoring at Old Trafford in their third round League Cup tie in September when he was still only 16.

A United source has told Football Insider that the club will be keeping close tabs on Matheson’s progress this season as they assess long-term full-back options.

The England under-18 international is regarded as one of the best players in his age group in the country and his development has alerted Premier League clubs.

United are aware they face competition from Man City for the signature of Matheson.

The big-hitting duo are unlikely to make a move for the rising star in the January window, and will instead closely monitor him with a view to swooping next summer.

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Matheson became Rochdale’s youngest-ever player when he made his debut for his hometown club at the age of 15 years and 336 days in September 2018.

Matheson would go on to be awarded man of the match during the 2-1 victory against Bury and his stock has grown ever since.

Rochdale announced yesterday that the youngster has signed a three-year professional contract with the club.

He entered the national spotlight when he rifled home a half-volley to force Rochdale into a penalty shootout with Man United after Mason Greenwood had given the home side the lead.

Despite a spirited performance from the visitors, United would crush the League One side’s hopes with a 5-3 victory in the shootout.

In other Man United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a January swoop to sign goalscoring midfielder after £9m bid.