Transfer News: Manchester United, Liverpool monitoring James Hill

Manchester United and Liverpool scouts have been keeping a close eye on Fleetwood Town defender James Hill, who is also a target for Rangers.

A new report from Daily Record has revealed that Rangers had their late bid for James Hill rejected by Fleetwood Town. The League One outfit, though, are open to selling the highly-rated defender in January, providing he does not extend the contract that expires at the end of the season.

In addition to Rangers, Manchester United and Liverpool have been monitoring Hill for quite some time. There could be major competition from other clubs as well, including Southampton and Burnley.

A centre-back by trade, Hill was previously a member of the Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool youth academy, but he made his breakthrough at Fleetwood. He was given his promotion to the senior side in 2019, though his eventual breakout season came during the 2020/21 campaign, with the defender featuring in 28 league matches.

Hill has now become a key member of Fleetwood’s defensive department, but there are doubts over his long-term future at the club. The club’s owner has already confirmed that the defender will leave the club soon if he doesn’t extend the contract.

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It should put Liverpool on red alert, as they continue to scour the English market for reinforcements in their team. The Brexit has indeed forced most club English clubs to search for homegrown talents, and the Reds certainly believe that the 19-year-old Hill could be one of them, having already enjoyed a lot of game-time at Fleetwood Town.

The Merseyside giants, however, haven’t had success incorporating players from lower leagues into the first-team lately, with Ben Davies being an ideal case in point. The former Preston defender, though, feels relieved now after making a late switch to Sheffield United on a season-long loan deal.

For Manchester United, it is a different story but they too have struggled to integrate Timothy Fosu-Mensah or Axel Tuanzebe into the first-team plans, with the latter even being shipped to Aston Villa on loan this summer.

The addition of Raphael Varane, therefore, doesn’t draw a pretty picture for Hill, who might want to settle for a lower end club if he does intend to leave Fleetwood Town next summer or even in the January transfer window. However, it is essential that he continues to perform well in League One for the time being.

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