Blackpool are the front runners to sign Manchester United academy graduate Demetri Mitchell, Express Sport has learned. Mitchell’s seven-year love affair with the Red Devil’s came to an end in June following the club’s decision to release him.
In a bid to stay fit and keep himself in the shop window, the left-back took up an offer from United to train with their under-23s before undergoing a trial with Sunderland.
The Black Cats were understood to be interested in offering the 23-year-old a contract at the Stadium of Light.
However, despite Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson being impressed by what he saw of Mitchell, that offer failed to come to fruition.
And that has prompted the northeast club’s League One rivals Blackpool to swoop for his services.
Express Sport understands Mitchell has been offered a two-year contract at Bloomfield Road.
If Mitchell puts pen to paper, he’ll be become Blackpool’s eleventh signing of the summer transfer window.
Mitchell joined Manchester United in 2013 from Fletcher Moss Rangers and impressed many with his displays in the club’s youth teams.
Former United boss Jose Mourinho was among those impressed by the youngster, calling him up to the squad in May 2017 before handing him his senior debut against Crystal Palace on the final day of the season 2016-17 season.
In January 2018, Mourinho sent Mitchell out on loan to Scottish Premier League side Hearts to gain first-team experience.
His time at Tynecastle, however, was cut short due to a knee injury – which restricted him to a leader 11 appearances.
Mitchell returned to the Edinburgh club in August 2018 but re-injured his knee in a Scottish Cup match against Auchinleck Talbot the following February, which brought about the end of his season.
Given his lack of first-team football over the last year-and-a-half, Mitchell is determined to make up for lost time.
“It’s been a tough 18 months but I’ve worked hard through it,” Mitchell recently told PA. “Right now after the lockdown, I think the little break has given me a little bit of time to relax the body.
“I’ve been training for about eight weeks and feeling good. Feeling really good.
“It’s been 18 months without a game but, really, it hasn’t been because I was fit the back end of January, missed the chance to go out on loan.”
He added: “When I came back after the injury, I just kind of knew I need to get myself as fit as possible for this time now.
“I am 23 now, it’s time to move on and get more first-team football under my belt.
“United is all I’ve known, really, but going on loan really broadened my perspective on men’s football, so that was kind of a big thing.”
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