Middlesbrough ready to sign a contract with a teenage star hounded by West Ham and Crystal Palace


TEAMtalk understands that Middlesbrough hope to finalize a new long-term deal with midfielder Pharell Willis, who is being sought by three London clubs.

The talented 18-year-old made his midweek debut against Blackpool and has impressed new Boro boss Michael Carrick since taking over from Chris Wilder last month.

Speaking about the youngster, Carrick said: “Pharrell has turned heads. That’s football. He sees things as a coach. Certain things catch your attention.

“He plays with that spark, that freedom, he has had a good attitude. It’s the choice you make.

“I am like that not only with young people, but with anyone. You’ll get a chance if you deserve it and if you take advantage of it, fantastic.

“Even better when you’re a young lad and it’s your first.”

We understand that various clubs in his native London had shown interest.

Those clubs include West Ham, Crystal Palace and QPR. However, Boro is determined to tie up the teenager after he was seen playing non-league soccer a couple of years ago.

Carrick looks to strengthen Boro’s team

Meanwhile, Carrick is already planning his first foray as Boro boss with Manchester United youngster Zidane Iqbal on his radar.

The midfielder made his debut for the Red Devils last year in a Champions League clash with Young Boys. Now, he is on the fringes of Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Iqbal is highly rated at Old Trafford, so United officials don’t want to lose him. That said, they could allow him to go out on loan, which could benefit his development.

The 19-year-old signed a contract extension until 2025 with the option of a further year in June.


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