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Who is the youngster Daniel Adshead Manchester United are interested in?

Sixteen year old Daniel Adscock of Rochdale warms up before the start of the Sky Bet League One match between Gillingham and Rochdale at Priestfield Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Gillingham, England

Who is the 16-year-old Rochdale midfielder closing in on a seven-figure move to Manchester United? We profile the teenager...

United boss Jose Mourinho has strengthened his first-team options already this summer with the arrival of Brazilian Fred for a fee in excess of £50m, and young full-back Diogo Dalot, but the Portuguese is also concerned with the club's next generation it seems.

According to reports, Rochdale's youngster Daniel Adshead is nearing a move to Old Trafford after impressing United's coaching staff a great deal in a recent friendly match. But who is the protege that is nearing a dream move to United?

Fact file

Name Daniel Adshead
Age 16
Nationality English
Position Midfield
League apps last season 1

Career so far...

Born in the suburbs of Manchester on September 2, 2001, Adshead worked his way through Rochdale's academy, and was training with the first team at just 14-years-old.

Then, the Manchester schoolboy became Rochdale's youngest ever debutant - aged 16 years and 17 days - when he faced Bury in the EFL Trophy on September 19 - a match he provided an assist in.

Next up was brief league debut against Doncaster, before outings in the FA Cup against Doncaster again and Millwall. Then it was a Wembley appearance for Adshead, as the midfielder was part of Rochdale's side that were beaten by Tottenham in an FA Cup fifth-round replay.

Adshead (second from right) played 14 minutes at Wembley against Tottenham
Image: Adshead (second from right) played 14 minutes at Wembley against Tottenham

Adshead was so young that child protection regulations meant he had to get changed before and after games away from his team-mates.

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It was back to Wright Robinson Sports College in Greater Manchester for Adshead the day after his Wembley date, where he was deputy head boy before finishing school last week.

Adshead continued to develop in the youth teams at Rochdale, but it now seems his talent cannot be kept under wraps any longer, with United poised to bring him in for a deal in the region of £1m.

Nicky Butt has been named as Manchester United's new head of academy
Image: Nicky Butt was impressed with what he saw from Adshead

What are his strengths and how did the deal come about?

A host of Premier League clubs have been on Adshead's trail for a while - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and United have all reportedly been interested at some stage - as well as Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

The stumbling block for United and others was that the ball-playing midfielder seemed a little lightweight, but he has worked off the pitch to bulk up, and that is thought to have impressed United.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill has helped develop John Stones, Craig Dawson, Danny Drinkwater and Scott Hogan during his managerial career, and reportedly wanted to keep hold of Adshead for now at least,

Keith Hill was thrilled with his side's display against Spurs
Image: Keith Hill has a track record when it comes to developing players

However, a match, which has not even been reported on Rochdale's website, was played behind closed doors against a United XI last week, with Adshead starring in the Rochdale midfield, convincing United coach Nicky Butt that he is worth the investment.

There is potential for Adshead to be loaned back to Rochdale as part of the deal at some point, but United are reportedly keen to get the move completed either way.

What they said...

Image: Ian Henderson was amazed by Adshead's workrate

"He covered nearly 14km during both training sessions," Rochdale forward Ian Henderson said of Adshead's incredible efforts at a pre-season training camp in Tenerife recently. "When you put that into context, you normally cover between four and six in one training session. All of the lads are in and around that figure, but he has been the standout person."

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know Dan's got a great future in the game," Hill said earlier this year. "People forget he's only 16. He's making a lot of progress for someone still at school."

"The beauty of it is Daniel wants to be in school," Martin Haworth, deputy headmaster at Wright Robinson College, said. "He likes coming to school and embraces school life. He'll either be at football or in school because he's successful at both."

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