Sunderland could lose teenage sensation Chris Rigg for a bargain price next summer as Manchester United and Newcastle United continue to circle, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
It was reported earlier this month that the Premier League giants were considering making a bid for the 16-year-old during the summer transfer window, but both opted against it.
Rigg became Sunderland’s youngest ever goalscorer last month when he netted in the Carabao Cup defeat against Crewe Alexandra and followed that up shortly before the international break when he scored the Black Cats’ fifth goal in a thumping win over Southampton.
The midfielder has been compared in the past to Jordan Henderson – another player who also graduated from Sunderland’s academy before securing a big-money move to Liverpool in 2011. Of course, the England international tasted great success at Anfield and captained the side to both Champions League and Premier League glory.
There is a feeling that Rigg could go on to taste similar success, having made his England under-17 debut at just 15-years-old.
Manager Tony Mowbray is a big fan, stating recently that the youngster will see plenty of game-time this season, which may have played a part in Manchester United and Newcastle’s decision to opt against a bid. Speaking to iNews, the former Celtic boss said;
“Listen, he’s a wonderful talent, and he’ll be on the bench just about every game this season; he will get game-time. The rawness of him, he doesn’t respect anybody, he tackles anybody, smashes into them. He dribbles, and he wants to get behind the opposition line.”
According to Ben Jacobs, Rigg could depart Wearside next summer for a bargain fee. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said;
“I think that, with Rigg at Sunderland, there is concrete interest, for sure. I know that Manchester United have also scouted and tracked the player as well. He’s a very similar kind of profile, in many ways, to Jordan Henderson.
“He has a lot of energy and stamina. He has a very high ceiling and would, of course, be available because of Sunderland’s situation and his potential at relative value.
“It wouldn’t necessarily be a cut-price or bargain fee in any way, but we’re in a market where virtually every talent is between £20million and £30million or significantly more in the case of players like Moises Caicedo. I don’t think that Rigg would be anywhere near that.”
Rigg’s trajectory looks to be off the chart. Should he continue down the same path, it could be just a matter of time before the Premier League big guns make their interest concrete.
Chris Rigg has shown during the early stages of this season that he could be the real deal. His performance against Crewe showed a maturity beyond his years, whilst his cameo against Southampton proved that he could have a real impact on the Black Cats’ season.
Jacobs’ claim that they could lose their latest starlet for a bargain fee will drive the fear into Sunderland fans, but they will be hoping that they can keep their young prodigy for as long as possible.
Tony Mowbray appears to have brought the feel-good factor back to the Stadium of Light though, and Rigg may be best placed spending a couple of years where he is in order to continue his astronomical rise.