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Solskjaer Praise For Stockport Apprentice

Media speculation is mounting that Stockport County Apprentice Sam Barnes could be on the verge of a dream move to Manchester United.

The 18 year old centre-half, now in his second year as an Apprentice at Edgeley Park, caught the eye in County’s 1-0 Manchester Senior Cup defeat to the Reds last Monday night.

While the youngster is yet to make a senior appearance for Gary Ablett’s first team, United Reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was impressed enough to recommend the Liverpool-born prospect to Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Their skipper had a great game,” said Solskjaer. “He’s a strong centre-half who reads the game well and has good pace.”

“I’ll be recommending him to the gaffer.”

Any move for Barnes – who was an unused substitute in Stockport’s goal-less League One draw with Gillingham on Saturday – would have to be authorised by both County’s administrators Leonard Curtis and Manager Gary Ablett.

County’s precarious financial position has already forced the Club to sell a number of first-team regulars and with the Hatters’ future still not secure, United may feel they can pinch Barnes – who is also said to be interesting Everton – on the cheap.

However, while a move to Old Trafford might appeal to any youngster making their way in the game County boss, Ablett is not keen to lose another of his young stars anytime soon.

“The lads were excellent against United and their staff were very impressed,” said the County boss.

“But even if we do come out of administration there is not going to be a lot of money to spend and the Club is going to have to rely on players like Sam to take the Club forward.”

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