Manchester United have become the third Premier League club to take Exeter City teenager Sonny Cox on trial.
The highly-rated striker has become the latest Exeter City youngster to attract the attentions of bigger clubs after scoring regularly in the Grecians’ youth set-up this season, including netting four times in the club’s FA Youth Cup run to round four.
Cox had been part of the Grecians’ first-team training squad for Monday’s goalless draw with Mansfield Town but is now unavailable for this weekend’s trip to Cambridge United, having been taken on trial by United.
Speaking to Devon Live about the trial, Exeter City boss Matt Taylor said United are the latest club to show interest in the 15-year-old.
“Everyone is interested in signing him,” Taylor said. “He has scored so many goals at youth team level, not just the U16s but the U18s and U23s.
“I think he is playing in a game tonight, one at the weekend and then at the start of next week, but this is the third Premier League club he has been to and there will be more.
“I think everyone understands what is going to happen in relation to Sonny and the same with Harry Lee.
“He is getting great experience for himself and they are not trials but an opportunity for Premier League clubs to show their training facilities and get close eyes on Sonny as he is one of the most in-demand players at all levels at any age throughout the country.
“He is one we want to keep as we want to get him close to the first team and would be such a shame if he is another one who goes before his time and before the fans get to see him play.”
Cox appears to be the latest talent off an impressive production line at the League Two club.
Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu both came through the youth ranks at the Grecians to play regular first-team football in the Premier League.
There are also high hopes over former Grecian Ben Chrisene, who turned down Bayern Munich to move to Villa, and Jay Stansfield, now at Fulham.
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United do have previous at keeping tabs on Exeter City’s academy.
Like Cox, Ampadu had been involved in a trial at United, but he ultimately stayed in Devon to complete his studies before completing a move to Chelsea.
The Reds also previously signed former youth midfielder Sean Goss from the club.