SIR Alex Ferguson allowed John Cofie to join Sheffield United on loan after being impressed by the South Yorkshire club’s style of play last season.
Sources close to Manchester United confirmed last night that Danny Wilson’s side were granted first refusal on the teenage centre-forward’s services because Ferguson views Bramall Lane as “providing the right environment” for Cofie’s “future development”.
The 19-year-old, who is understood to have passed his medical yesterday, arrives less than a week after Matthew Lowton became the latest graduate of United’s Shirecliffe youth academy to join a Premier League club.
Aston Villa paid an undisclosed seven-figure sum to acquire the defender’s services.
“Sheffield United first showed an interest in John a while ago,” a souce told The Star. “Sir Alex and his staff scrutinise whoever want their players in great detail before making a decision.”
“They think Sheffield United play correctly and that John will benefit as a result.
“He wouldn’t be there at all if not.”
Ferguson described Cofie as a prodigious talent after signing him from Burnley five years ago.
The Ghana-born marksman was only 14 when he caught the eye of Ferguson’s scouts and the Scot said: “We’re very fortunate. It’s looking good for young strikers.”
Cofie, who was also being courted by arch-rivals Liverpool, has represented England at under-17 level and enjoyed a spell with Royal Antwerp last term.
He featured in both legs of the FA Youth Cup Final against United in 2011.
Wilson introduced Cofie to his new teammates, including midfielder Lee Williamson, when his squad reported back for training yesterday.
Williamson and Kevin McDonald have both been offered new contracts after becoming free agents following May’s League One play-off final defeat by Huddersfield Town.
Cofie’s season-long move will be officially finalised this morning.