One of New York City’s biggest soccer stars could be retracing his routes back to England this winter.
Several MLS league sources have confirmed to Pro Soccer Talk that New York City FC winger Jack Harrison is being tracked by Premier League outfit Stoke City, and that a bid has been placed for the 21-year-old “in the range of $5 million.” That amount could move upwards of $6 million if incentives are reached.
Additionally, league sources have revealed to PST that a deal is “likely to be reached between the two sides” before the end of the winter transfer window.
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PST reached out to NYCFC for comment, but the club wasn’t available for immediate response.
Harrison was born in Stoke-on-Trent, and came up through Manchester United’s academy system as a youth player, prior to coming to the United States at the age of 14.
PL sides have until Jan. 31 to complete signings of players, which gives Stoke roughly 10 days to get a signature from Harrison.
Goal USA’s Ives Galarcep was the first to report the story of Stoke’s interest in Harrison. The Goal report states that Stoke’s initial bid for Harrison of $3 million was rejected by NYCFC last week.
Harrison was selected by NYCFC in the first round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, after the team executed a trade with the Chicago Fire. The 21-year-old was the first-overall pick in that season’s draft out of Wake Forest University.
In his time with the Eastern Conference MLS club, the England-native has scored 14 goals in all competitions, while adding 13 assists for the Cityzens.
Harrison earned his first call up with the England Under-21 national team in 2017 in a match against Scotland, before also appearing in a fixture against Andorra.
The interest from Stoke is far from surprising given the intrigue regarding Harrison from foreign clubs in the past. Stoke is currently in the midst of a fierce relegation battle in England, with the Potters sitting 17th place in the PL on 23 points.
Over the past year, Brighton & Hove, Everton and Leicester City are just a few of the sides that have tracked Harrison’s progress, although it never appeared that NYCFC was close to a deal with any of the aforementioned PL clubs.
From an NYCFC perspective, the move isn’t completely out of left field when considering the moves that technical director Claudio Reyna and manager Patrick Vieira have sought after recently.
The club has added attacking talents such as Designated Player Jesus Medina, Jonathan Lewis and Ismael Tajouri within the last 12 months to help prepare for such a move. Additionally, the club signed Norwegian forward Jo Inge Berget on Friday, further bolstering the team’s attack.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference giants still boast an attack led by forward and captain David Villa, while being complimented by Maxi Moralez and a strong midfield.