Manchester United have signed 16-year-old Northern Ireland midfielder Ethan Galbraith.
The Red Devils scout Tony Coulter spotted the 16-year-old while in action for Linfield Under-16s. The midfielder then travelled to United for his trials and had two trials with the Premier League giants.
That led to him signing a pre-contract in the presence of Old Trafford legend Ryan Giggs and the club’s Head of Academy Nicky Butt in January.
Galbraith, who is an Arsenal fan, will sign a three-year deal with the 20-time English champions this weekend, reports the Irish Mirror. He will sign a one-year scholarship followed by a two-year pro contract.
“I went on a couple of trials last year after I was spotted playing for Linfield U16s. I must have done okay because United then offered me a contract in January,” Ethan explained, as quoted by the Irish Mirror.
“The trials were good, and I was playing with the top players as well. Players like Angel Gomes who is moving onto the first team now.
“I played in a couple of friendly games and also some training sessions and it was a great experience.
“I signed the pre-contract in January and I will finally travel over to Manchester this weekend to live there and sign my full deal.
“It is one-year scholarship and then two-year pro deal. I will be playing with the Under 18s next season, but the big aim is to progress to the first team.”
Galbraith says the experience of signing the pre-contract in the presence of Giggs and Butt was surreal. He will be playing under Northern Ireland coach Kieran McKenna at the Red Devils’ academy. The teenager says having his compatriot at United Under-18s will help him settle at the new club.
“It is massive, and I am buzzing for it. I am over the moon. I signed my pre-contract with Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs back in January. It was unbelievable meeting them,” he explained.
“Kieran is from Ballinamallard. I met him and he is really dead on. It is good having someone from Northern Ireland over there,” Ethan added.
“He used to be at Tottenham and then he came to United, so it is great having him here. He talks me through things.”