Sources: Man United close to beating Leicester to Grist signing after breakthrough

Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Grimsby Town rising star Ben Grist, Football Insider can reveal.

United have been locked in a battle with Leicester City over the capture of the gifted 16-year-old.

A source has told Football Insider the 20-times league champions are pulling out all the stops to land Grist and are confident of doing so following a breakthrough in talks.

That would be a major blow to Brendan Rodgers’ side, who were reported last month (May 12) to be the favourites in the race.

United are expected to pay a fee of around £500,000 in compensation for Grist if a deal is finalised.

The teenager first caught the eye after being named on the bench for Grimsby’s EFL Trophy clash with Harrogate Town last September.

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At 15-years-old, he would have become the Mariners youngest ever player if he made it onto the pitch.

Instead, his fellow academy teammate Louis Boyd became the club’s youngest player and goalscorer on the same night.

Grimsby may be vulnerable to losing Grist after suffering relegation from League Two to the National League.

Man United will be in the market for young British talent as new Brexit rules mean they cannot sign foreign players under the age of 18.

Grist would likely link up with the club’s Under-18s side next term if a deal can be completed.

In other news, AC Milan are readying a bid for a Manchester United ace and he wants out after signing a five-year deal last year.