Jacob Wale: Sheffield United and Manchester United chasing wonder boy aged five

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He's fast, slick, scores goals, is fearless - and Manchester United and Sheffield United could soon be competing for his signature.

There is only one problem - forward Jacob Wale is just FIVE-years-old.

Scouts of the two Premier League clubs have been drooling over the prospect, despite the fact he's too young yet to have played many competitive games.

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They have seen enough in training and skill drills, though, to mark him out as a possible star of the future.

Jacob, whose father is former British boxing champion Josh Wale, will have to wait until he is nine-years-old before he can legally sign for a team.

But as his South Yorkshire-based family are devout Manchester United fans, the Theatre of Dreams could be his eventual destination if his talents continue to blossom.

Josh, who retired from the ring two years ago, has been amazed at his son's football skill set and the interest it has created so high up the football pyramid.

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"It was only a few weeks ago that Jacob was asked to play for Brampton U7s," he said.

"He's too young to play in league games, but they had a friendly at Maltby so he could play his first proper game.

"A Sheffield United coach was there and he asked me for Jacob's date of birth. When I told him he thought I had got it wrong. He couldn't believe he is five!

"Jacob was man of the match, he scored and was brilliant. He was invited to the (Blades') academy the next day and immediately put through to their elite group."

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But the Bramall Lane club wasn't the only one to pick up Jacob's trail.

"I got a phone call from a Man United scout saying he had heard good reports about Jacob and asked if he could watch him train.

"I thought: 'Is somebody winding me up?' After all, we are all all lifelong Man United fans. I hope he is the next George Best!

"The scout said that he knew within 10 minutes of watching Jacob that they'd invited him to their Academy base for youngsters at Bradford Park Avenue.

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"He is certainly getting some attention, sometimes he will do something on the pitch and I wonder: 'Who has taught him to do that?'

"He has got such balance and confidence.

"These days, as a family, we have this crazy schedule of Jacob finishing school and then going to Sheffield on a Wednesday and Friday and Bradford on a Tuesday and Thursday," says Josh, a promoter and trainer.

The Wath CofE schoolboy, who lives in Elsecar, Barnsley, takes it all in his stride.

"After school, he gets in the car, has something to eat, and then asks which club he is going to, today! He is cool about it, absorbs everything, and just does his own thing" said Josh.

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Jacob is a winger or a striker, and likes to cut inside and shoot.

"That is his specialty, but he likes to tackle and get stuck in too - he is used to rough and tumble of having two bigger brothers and a boxing dad."

His favourite player is Old Trafford's Madrid-born Alejandro Garnacho, a lightning winger whom he is now trying to model himself on.

Before that it was Antony dos Santos - but unlike the £82m Brazilian, Jacob can kick with both feet!

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Josh and his wife Melissa are careful that they fairly share the praise around Jacob's older brothers, Mikey, 10, and Jack, eight, who enjoy football, and support the Red Devils, but love boxing too.

"I am proud of all their achievements," said 35-year-old Josh.

"Everybody wants their kids to do well but I don't want to be one of those pushy parents - all kids want to be the next Ricky Hatton or David Beckham, I just say let them crack on and we'll support them whatever happens.

"We certainly have a busy life these days but I'll keep supporting Jacob to wherever he needs to be.

"It would be amazing if he got into the Man United first team, one day, I won the British title but for Jacob to play at that level like he is hopefully going to do, that would just be tremendous."