Hoffenheim track Brighton's Aaron Connolly as part of Premier League recruitment drive
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 22/11/18 11:46am
Hoffenheim are tracking Brighton's promising young striker Aaron Connolly, Sky Sports News understands, as the German club continue their model of scouting Premier League prospects not currently getting first-team football.
Connolly - a Republic of Ireland U19 international - has scored nine goals in 10 league games for Brighton's U23s this season and five more for them in just three outings in the EFL Trophy.
The 18-year-old is understood to be stalling on the offer of a new contract, and the Seagulls are considering letting him out on loan in the January transfer window.
Connolly was on trial at Manchester United before joining the south coast club, and Sky Sports News understands United are still monitoring his development, along with Manchester City and other clubs from the Bundesliga.
Among them have been Hoffenheim, currently sixth in the table, and the temporary home of Arsenal starlet Reiss Nelson, who has followed the lead of players such as Jadon Sancho and Ademola Lookman in breaking into senior football in Germany.
The 18-year-old Nelson is on loan for the season and is already Hoffenheim's top scorer with six goals in seven appearances.
Connolly began his career with Mervue United in Galway - his place of birth -before joining Brighton's academy in 2016. He has so far made only two first-team appearances in the Carabao Cup.