Fergie eyes long bid

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MANCHESTER United are understood to be monitoring George Long’s progress at Bramall Lane.

The teenage goalkeeper, who made his Sheffield United debut at Swansea City earlier this year, is believed to have impressed Sir Alex Ferguson when the two sides met in last season’s FA Youth Cup Final.

Arsenal and Aston Villa have also reportedly been keeping tabs on Long since he established himself in Danny Wilson’s first-team squad.

It is unclear whether the Premier League trio will test United’s resolve during next month’s transfer window or wait until the end of the campaign before submitting bids.

Wilson and other members of the South Yorkshire club’s hierarchy have conceded it is impossible to prevent rivals teams from keeping tabs on Long and other graduates of their youth academy at Shirecliffe.

Shareholders at the AGM were told that Matthew Lowton had been the subject of an approach from a mystery top-flight outfit during the close season only for the undisclosed offer to be rejected.

Ipswich Town also failed to lure the full-back to Portman Road despite United’s relegation from the Championship.

That sent out a message the Blades are not looking to sell home-grown talent

Wilson has proven willing to give youngsters an opportunity at senior level.