LEICESTER CITY have beaten off Manchester United to sign Grimsby Town’s 16-year-old midfielder Ben Grist.
Liverpool and Chelsea were also linked with Grist, who has agreed a two-year scholarship deal with the Foxes.
Grist has been training with Leicester under-18s after catching the eye of their scouts last season.
He was thrust into the spotlight last term when he was named on the bench for Grimsby’s EFL Trophy clash with Harrogate aged just 15 – six years after he first joined his local team.
And while the Mariners went down to the National League by finishing bottom of League Two, Grist will now move on to Leicester’s youth team.
He told GrimsbyLive: “It’s been an exciting time and I just can’t wait to get started.
“Hopefully I’ll hit the ground running and I’ll get back playing.
“I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I can’t wait to get there, start training and meet the lads, and see how I progress over the next couple of years.
“The facilities are out of this world, they’re the best I’ve ever seen.”
United were favourites to sign Grist, with Newcastle amongst the other clubs reportedly interested.
But Leicester have persuaded him his development would be best served at the King Power Stadium.
Grist said: “There’s a great manager (Brendan Rodgers), the coaches are really, really good, and I think we’ll have a good group next year, and I can’t wait to get training and playing with them.”
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