The 20-year-old midfielder is wanted by a host of clubs after being made available for a short term loan, with Reading perhaps ready to offer him Premiership experience.
Having sent Angelo Henriquez on loan to Wigan for the rest of the season, Manchester United could be about to swell the ranks of another team fighting for Premier League survival, with Ryan Tunnicliffe perhaps set to go on loan to Reading until the summer.
However the midfielder is highly sought after at the moment, with a slew of Championship clubs keen to secure his services for the second half of the season, including promotion chasing Hull and Leicester.
Whilst those sides cannot offer Tunnicliffe Premier League experience, they might give the player more opportunities for first team action than he would see at Reading.
Tunnicliffe has featured twice for Alex Ferguson’s team so far this season, both times in the Capital One Cup. With Manchester United eliminated from that competition, it is unlikely Tunnicliffe will be given many more chances for United this season. With that in mind, United will be hoping a loan spell can have the same kind of impact on Tunnicliffe that Tom Cleverley’s time at Wigan Athletic did, with the latter now a regular for club and country.
Tunnicliffe spent last season loan at Peterborough United, making 26 appearances in Darren Ferguson’s side as they avoided relegation. Given his regular playing time last year Manchester United will no doubt be keen to ensure his development isn’t stunted with a lack of action this season. It would be a real boost for the player if he could spend the second half of the season playing at Reading in the Premiership, but if it’s unlikely that he will get opportunities there then a move to a Championship club might be a wiser option.
However it works out this season, United will be aware that with Paul Pogba and Ezekiel Fryers all leaving the club in the past year, they might face losing their young talent if enough opportunities to play aren’t granted.
Tunnicliffe is only 20, but he is at a critical stage of his development, and a loan move now has to be carefully chosen to ensure he doesn’t end up sitting on the bench at another club.
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