Manchester United have reportedly clinched their first signing of the summer in Espanyol youngster Arnau Puigmal.
The 16-year-old has been with the La Liga outfit’s academy since 2010 after joining from Sant Cugat and is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Spanish football after impressing for the club’s Cadete A side this season.
Said to be an imposing central midfielder with the ability to break forward and get amongst the goals, Puigmal was on the scoresheet earlier in the campaign in the Mediterranean International Cup final against Barcelona, where he scooped the Most Valuable Player at the tournament in the process.
Tracked by a number of top European clubs, the Red Devils appear to have won the race for the youngster’s signature as according to reports in Spain (via the Independent), the Old Trafford outfit have already reached an agreement with Puigmal.
In addition, the report states that United have offered the midfielder a lucrative contract and as well as the promise to develop him into a first-team player in the future as the club aim to close the gap that has opened up between their academy and rivals Manchester City’s the state-of-the-art complex.
It’s understood that the deal will be confirmed by the club in the next few weeks and it’s a move which comes as a blow to Espanyol, who hoped had Puigmal would break into their first team at a relatively young age.
How Mourinho changed Man Utd’s scouting network
United’s scouting network has undergone a huge review this season following Jose Mourinho’s appointment. The Portuguese tactician has overseen over 50 new scouts as the club have made more of an effort to acquire the best talent in the world.
One of their most high profile recruits was Gerardo Guzman from Atletico Madrid as he was hired to be their new scout in Spain and could have been involved in the deal to bring in Puigmal.
Here’s how a selection of United fans reacted to reports of securing Puigmal’s signature on Twitter…
Arnau Puigmal who?
— Martian (@AnthonyMartian) May 19, 2017
Who is Arnau Puigmal?
— PogPass 🇧🇩 (@PereiraThaGod) May 19, 2017
Let's hope Arnau Puigmal gets polished the right way.
— Amirul Ya'iisyuddin (@yaiisyuddin) May 19, 2017
Deal agrees for Arnau Puigmal apparently. Highly rated in Spain
— TheMataTouch (@Aarsheya7) May 19, 2017