Newcastle United rival Manchester United in Chris Rigg pursuit

Manchester United and Newcastle could reportedly battle it out for the services of Sunderland wonderkid Chris Rigg in the upcoming transfer window.

According to journalist Ben Jacobs (via GIVEMESPORT), Newcastle United are still keeping tabs on Sunderland midfielder Chris Rigg and could look to raid their arch-rival Sunderland when the transfer window reopens in January.

Jacobs said to GMS, “It’s one to watch, for sure. Even though he is at Sunderland, a vast proportion of his family are all Newcastle fans as well. I think that one could be one to watch in January. Newcastle are concurrently planning for their future as well as the present. Garang Kuol is a good example and so is Harrison Ashby, who West Ham simply didn’t want to lose.”

“Newcastle have made a few moves for young players in the market and beaten rivals to them. Rigg is seen as one of the top midfield prospects in the country and he is also only 16 years of age at the moment. He scored against Southampton last weekend.”

“When he got that goal, he also became Sunderland’s youngest-ever league scorer. But he needs minutes and time to develop as well, so the player side won’t want to rush into anything. However, there’s absolutely no doubt that Newcastle are keeping tabs, and I would say that is exactly the same for Manchester United as well.”

Regarded as one of the most exciting talents to come through the Academy of Light in recent years, the 16-year-old has drawn attention from a number of clubs this year, with the teenager making his debut at 15 against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup. In doing so, he became Sunderland’s youngest outfield player ever.

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He bagged his first goal for the club this season, scoring against Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup last month, and followed that up last month with his first league goal in the 5-0 thrashing of Southampton. The 16-year-old rejected interest from a host of top clubs in the country to sign a two-year scholarship contract with the Wearside outfit.

If he had chosen to leave Sunderland, then a fee would have been decided by a tribunal to compensate the club for developing him. Should he continue to shine at the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats may find it difficult to keep hold of him for too long.

Manchester United, for one, tried to get a deal over the line for the teenager during the summer transfer window but were priced out by the Black Cats’ £3 million asking price and the 16-year-old’s very reasonable wage demands due to their limited costs measures, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.

Newcastle are also interested in landing Rigg’s signature as part of sporting director Dan Ashworth’s broader strategy of investing in young talent. Having already roped in the likes of Travis Hernes, Leo Shahar, Sam Pinnington, Sam Alabi, Kacey Wooster, and Michael Mills, they have signed highly-rated talent Trevan Sanusi after beating top clubs to his services.

Also Read: Newcastle United Summer Transfer Window Verdict 2023

The Magpies may also hold a big advantage over competitors Man United, with Rigg’s father’s reported being a big Toon fan, which may influence his decision to move to Tyneside down the line, but they may have to pay big bucks to lure him away from their perennial rivals.

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