By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in signing Fulham sensation Patrick Roberts, Goal.com has learned.
The Premier League powerhouses have both enquired about the availability of the highly rated forward, who turned 16 just last month.
Roberts is earning a reputation as one of the outstanding players in his age group in the country. He has been a regular for Fulham Under-18s this season and has featured for England Under-17s over the last week.
Fulham are unable to tie Roberts down to a professional contract until he is 17 but the west Londoners have a 'terms of agreement' with the player which gives them a strong degree of protection for the next 11 months.
Liverpool have been closely monitoring Roberts for a long time, while United have stepped up their interest in recent weeks.
United academy chiefs were understood to have been extremely impressed with him when the club’s Under-18s hosted Fulham earlier this month. Roberts scored the visitors’ only goal as the Londoners slumped to a 3-1 defeat.
United and Liverpool would both be prepared to offer more than £1million in compensation to snare the youngster but Fulham have no interest in selling a player they rate very highly.
Roberts is making waves as an attacking midfielder or deep forward, who can operate on the right flank or behind the central striker. He won his first England youth cap last September when he came on as a second-half substitute in the Under-16s' 5-0 defeat of Northern Ireland in the Victory Shield.