Manchester United scouting Vancouver’s 15-year-old prodigy

Ben Nelms/The Canadian Press via AP

Given Vancouver’s disappointing season, even dedicated MLS fans can be forgiven for missing the buzz on Alphonso Davies.

But the 15-year-old, who recently became the second-youngest player to start a game in Major League Soccer history (Freddy Adu), certainly has many admirers here and abroad.

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The latest is Manchester United, who scouted Davies over the weekend according to The Province. Previously, Liverpool had checked on the kid.

The Liberia-born winger turns 16 in early November, and has made 8 league appearances for the ‘Caps after scoring twice in nine outings for Whitecaps 2 of the USL. He won a penalty for Vancouver in the club’s 2-1 loss to Seattle on Sunday.

And Vancouver could reap the double bonus of seeing more of the kid while also cashing in, according to the report, as Canada’s poor FIFA ranking and his lack of a Canadian passport may conspire to keep him in North America.

From The Province:

Davies could still be transferred before then and loaned out, perhaps back to the Whitecaps, who’ll be wanting a decent percentage of sell-on fees.

The Caps haven’t publicly put a price on Davies — they’ve gone out of their way to limit any hype around the kid — and there haven’t been any reported offers for him, either. But part of the incentive to sell is how those fees can be used in the salary-cap world of MLS.

As we’ve seen with Weston McKinnie (Schalke) and Erik Palmer-Brown (Porto), there are different ways of dealing with in-demand MLS Academy players who want to try their hand in Europe.

And Davies getting a look with United would be huge, perhaps the biggest move for a Canadian player since Owen Hargreaves left Alberta for Bayern Munich (and then United) in the late 1990s.

Davies could speak with a countryman for advice on Old Trafford, as the Red Devils added youngster Josh Doughty in 2015.