Man Utd on course to sign 17-year-old Rangers talent Emma Watson

Manchester United are close to securing the signing of 17-year-old Rangers midfielder Emma Watson ahead of the summer transfer window, 90min understands.

United are showing interest in a number of emerging talents as the club looks to recruit for the long-term future, with Watson now on course to complete a move down to Manchester.

The youngster was on United’s radar last summer when she was still only 16 but was persuaded to remain at Rangers with the incentive of playing first-team minutes.

Watson, who has been called up by Scotland for this month’s international friendlies against Australia and Costa Rica, has been featuring for Rangers fairly regularly this season. She has started each of the club’s last two Scottish Women’s Premier League games, often coming off the bench in others – including Champions League qualifiers, and scored twice in a recent 5-0 demolition of Partick Thistle.

But the time has come for her to take the next step and she is keen to join United.

United are also believed to be one of the clubs interested in 20-year-old Brighton winger Katie Robinson, who has become a senior England international this season and could yet go to the upcoming World Cup. Head of women’s football Polly Bancroft and star defender Maya Le Tissier, herself still just 20, have already made the switch from Brighton within the past nine months.

Aston Villa defender Evie Rabjohn, who turns 18 later this month, is another emerging talent the club have been tracking for some time.


The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that a formal approach has been made and United will soon be able to present an offer of personal terms to the player. Not old enough to sign a professional contract with Villa, Rabjohn could move clubs without any compensation being paid.

The club have generally shown a determination in recent years to recruit young talents. Carrie Jones joined from Cardiff shortly before turning 17 in 2020 and has spent this season gaining invaluable first-team experience at Leicester after 10 senior appearances for United.

Grace Clinton, recently 20, is another. The England junior international was signed from Everton last summer and, despite not yet making her senior United debut, has thrived on loan at Bristol City, who are currently leading the Women’s Championship as they chase a return to the WSL.

“Grace has the best temperament, the best brain. But we just needed her to be consistently playing so we can challenge her decision-making processes,” United boss Marc Skinner recently said of the reasoning behind loaning her out.

“With Bristol, the way that they play football, it suits us as well. It’s been a really good move for her. Grace is one that I think can come into Manchester United in the future and make a real difference.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!


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