Manchester United targeted West Ham youngster signs first pro deal

Reece Burke has signed professional terms with West Ham United.

The 18-year-old defender has already appeared twice for the Hammers first-team, and looks to have a bright future at the Boleyn Ground.

Joining the club at the age of nine, Burke went on to make his debut in the FA Cup last season, starting at Nottingham Forest as the London club went down 5-0 in the third round of the cup competition.

Despite the setback, Burke has still progressed at a rapid rate, and was subject to interest from a number of Premier League clubs during the summer, including Manchester United.

He featured heavily in Sam Allardyce’s pre-season plans, scoring a first home goal in the 3-2 win over Sampdoria, and made his first competitive start as a player in the Capital One Cup this term.

As a reward for his impressive displays, the youngster has finally agreed his first professional deal with the club, with reporting that the contract ties him to the Boleyn Ground until 2017.

The move should deter interest from a number of clubs in the coming months, and Burke himself was pleased to have agreed a deal with the club of his youth.

He said: "It's a great achievement for me. My first professional contract for the club and to sign for a great club like this is really good.

"I started off pre-season away with the first team and obviously did quite well there, came back, scored my first debut goal and have just carried on from there. I'm doing well, and I'm just glad it's come to this.”

As well progressing into the West Ham first-team set-up last season, Burke started to make a name for himself at international level, making four appearances for the England Under-18 side, and the highly-rated youngster will be looking to have an even greater impact this year.

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