Manchester United are monitoring Peterborough United star Ricky-Jade Jones, who has admitted that interest in his services has given him motivation to fulfil his potential.
That immediately sounds like a player who would be open to a big move with the aim of developing his game further. The Daily Mail claim Liverpool are interested in his services too.
Peterborough director of football Barry Fry revealed earlier this year that the two Premier League giants — as well as Arsenal and Leeds United — had approached Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony over the availability of the 17-year-old.
No-one is suggest that Jones is ready to join one of these big clubs and walk straight into the first-team. This season he burst onto the scene at the Weston Homes Stadium with four games in 16 appearances.
Although he admits being flattered by links to clubs like United and Liverpool, Jones would have stiff competition at Old Trafford with Mason Greenwood showing positive signs in his breakthrough campaign, albeit in the top flight.
“As a 17-year-old that is really nice,” Jones told Sky Sports. “I’m in a good position right now and I’m enjoying football so it doesn’t distract me. It just gives me more motivation to show everyone what I can do.”
Of course, a move to United wouldn’t just see Jones compete with Greenwood for a place in the team. He would also be up against the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Jones admitted he bases his game around Rashford when asked who his football idol was.
“Marcus Rashford because the way he broke into the team was similar to me and my upbringing. I watch Rashford a lot and learn from him,” he added.
He doesn’t only compare himself to Rashford, but fellow Premier League goalscorer Jamie Vardy and is keen to use his pace to his advantage.
“I look at teams like Leicester and players like Jamie Vardy. I think I’m suited to [being] a Tardy-type of player,” Jones said. “I’d had a few defenders say they don’t like playing against me and that’s always nice to hear at a young age.
“Ever since Under 12s I had a coach who used to train me to get faster because my running technique wasn’t the best. Over the years I’ve gradually got faster.”