Manchester United on the verge of first summer signing

Manchester United

With Louis Laing set to leave Sunderland come the end of the season, Manchester United are reportedly lining up to secure his services.

According to the Mirror, Manchester United are ready to sign Sunderland defender Louis Laing in a shock deal, as the 21-year-old is preparing to quit the Black Cats come the end of the season.

His current deal runs out this summer and he is expected to leave the Stadium of Light without being offered an extension. He has been training at Old Trafford in recent weeks and, based on recent reports, he has done enough to impress the coaching staff.

A number of club’s have expressed their interest in the youngster, including Newcastle and Blackburn, but the Red Devils are expected to win the race for his signature. He will initially be attached to the reserve team after being headhunted by development coach Warren Joyce, but it may only be a short time before he gets a taste of first-team action.

Laing made just one substitute appearance for Sunderland's first team during his time at the Stadium of Light, having joined the north east team back in 2011. He has seen his progress at the club hampered by injuries and managerial changes, but a move to Old Trafford could see his fortunes change for the better.

Establishing himself as a regular starter will be a challenge, but an achievable one at that. Laing will be competing with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans for a starting berth – all of whom are regarded as fantastic prospects – yet the trio are yet to fully convince fans that they are the future of the United central defence.

Laing clearly has something about him and it is a genuine surprise Gus Poyet has allowed him to slip through his fingers. He has the potential to develop into a top centre-back and at United he could eventually be afforded the chance to prove himself at the highest level.

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