Zidane Iqbal has become the latest Manchester United youngster to sign a professional contract.
Iqbal, 17, has not played for the Under-18s since December but is expected to regain fitness soon and United rate the attacking midfielder so highly they wanted to tie down Iqbal on a professional deal to oversee his development.
United intend to promote Iqbal to the Under-23 squad next season as he turns 18 later this month.
Iqbal’s representatives, Base Soccer, tweeted: “Many congratulations to Zidane Iqbal, who has signed his first professional contract with Manchester United. Well done Zee!” United do not intend to formally announce Iqbal’s extension.
Iqbal had started seven times for the Under-18s before he suffered an injury in December and made his debut at that level when he was just 16 last year.
Academy talents Teden Mengi, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri and Anthony Elanga have all inked new deals this calendar year.
— CAA Base (@CAABase)
The United U18s were eliminated from the FA Youth Cup by Liverpool on Saturday but are two points clear of Manchester City at the summit of the U18 Premier League table.
United last won the league at U18 level in 2017-18 when they were coached by Kieran McKenna, who was soon promoted to the first-team coaching staff by Jose Mourinho.
Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong were all part of that squad.