Tottenham move ahead of Man United in race to sign Blackburn starlet

It appears that Man United will likely miss out on another transfer target, as Spurs are reportedly close to signing a young starlet from Blackburn Rovers.

The pair of top-six sides have had drastically different summers thus far. United have had a constant stream of rumours linking them to players but have only made three signings. In contrast, Tottenham have been busy in the transfer market.

Spurs have brought in seven new signings, taking their spending to over £100 million this window, per Transfermarkt. Headlining the new players was Richarlison, who signed for around £60 million from Everton. All these fresh faces led to a very optimistic outlook from the Spurs faithful. After two matches, this positivity has continued, too.

The North London side currently sit fourth in the table with a win and a draw to their name. They cruised to a 4-1 victory on the opening weekend, before battling out a 2-2 draw with rivals Chelsea. Conte has chosen a careful approach with his signings, electing not to immediately integrate them into the starting XI to allow them time to adapt to his demands and system.

At the opposite end of the table, United are without points from their opening two fixtures. And their misery may be compounded further by losing out to Spurs in the battle to sign young Blackburn talent Ashley Phillips.

Spurs set to beat Man United to Phillips signing

According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham are close to sealing a deal for Phillips. As well as Man United, Caught Offside believe that Spurs also beat Chelsea to this signing, too.

Tottenham’s director of football, Fabio Paratici, reportedly attended Blackburn’s last match to seal his approval for Phillips. Unfortunately, the Lancashire side lost 3-0 to Reading, with the defender playing almost the full game.

That may not be Phillips’ last appearance for the club, though. Despite all rumours pointing to an exit from Ewood Park, Blackburn remain optimistic that Phillips may sign a new contract with them. His current deal expires at the end of 2022/23.

But who is this young talent that has caught the attention of the big boys in the Premier League?

Who is Ashley Phillips?

Playing predominantly as a centre-back, 17-year-old Phillips has broken into the England youth ranks and has made five appearances for the U17 side. In addition, the youngster moved up to the Blackburn first team after playing for their junior team last season.

During the 2021/22 campaign, Phillips made 12 Premier League 2 and U18 appearances, scoring twice.

So far this season, Phillips has featured in three of Blackburn’s five matches in all competitions. He has helped his side make an impressive start to the Championship season, as they are top after four games.

At 6ft 4in, the young defender makes for an imposing presence, despite his age. It is, therefore, no surprise that Chelsea, United, and Spurs all scouted the talented prospect for months as they sought to bolster their defensive options.

Although no deal confirmation is imminent, Phillips is in control of the move. If Blackburn block a transfer, they may risk losing their young star for free at the end of this season.

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