Two top Premier League clubs linked with move for Ireland star Evan Ferguson

Evan Ferguson (left) is one of the world's most in-demand teenagers.

Kevin Palmer

Evan Ferguson is set to emerge as a top transfer target after a breakthrough season in the Premier League, with two leading clubs reported to be weighing up an offer for the striker.

The teenager added to his reputation by scoring two goals as Brighton secured qualification for European football with a win against Southampton last Sunday.

Now Sky Sports are reporting that Manchester United are considering a move for Ferguson in the summer transfer window.

The report suggests United's academy director Nick Cox recently labelled the teenager a "£50m-plus mistake" after the club failed to secure him on youth terms during a trial, meaning they would have to fork out a substantial fee for him in the future.

Tottenham are also said to be in the mix for Ferguson, with uncertainty over the future of Harry Kane, who has also been strongly linked with a move to United.

At the age of 18, Ferguson has time on his side to make a big-money move and former Ireland striker John Aldridge believes he would be wise to stay at Brighton to continue his development next season.

"I really like what I've seen from this 18-year-old and he could be the striker Ireland have been waiting for since Robbie Keane's retirement,” Aldridge told the Sunday World.

“Ferguson holds the ball up well, makes intelligent runs, has a great touch and is pretty clinical when chances come his way.

“He will give Kenny a focal point to his Ireland team that has been lacking and if he could score a goal every two of three games, it could transform Ireland’s fortunes.

"The question he might face this summer is whether he stays at Brighton or moves to a big Premier League clubs.

“There are suggestions that Manchester United and Liverpool are among the clubs looking at Ferguson and I can see why he is on their radars.

“Yet I would advise the lad to stay at Brighton for now, get a full season of Premier League football under his belt and the big move will come if he continues on his current path.

“If he was to join Liverpool, he probably wouldn’t get into the starting line-up most weeks and this important development phase of his career would be halted.

“It would be a similar story at Manchester United, as he wouldn’t start in place of Marcus Rashford and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Harry Kane end up at United this summer.

"That is not what Ferguson needs at this point in his story and being a part of a very exciting Brighton side could be the perfect platform for him to launch at great career.”