Man Utd celebrate beating Liverpool, Chelsea for Cofie

Manchester United are said to have landed the 'next big thing' in new signing John Cofie.

Such is the 14-year-old's potential that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson simply refused to let him slip through his grasp. Cofie was virtually unknown to the public before Burnley's low-key announcement that they'd struck a deal with United.

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For Ferguson, the capture of the Liverpool fan whose heroes are Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, represents a real coup - particularly after missing out on some high-profile starlets in recent years, says the Manchester Evening News.

Though the Reds' boss recruited the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney - Arsenal beat him to the signature of Walcott, Tottenham landed Gareth Bale, while Jon Obi Mikel controversially spurned United for Chelsea.

Fergie also had to fend off interest from Barcelona, as the teenager's lofty reputation is already known on the continent.

He could make his United debut this week, playing for the U15s.

Cofie's family's legal representative, Tim Bailey of Beswick Sports, said there is no doubting his potential.

"We advise a lot of young players, but only a very small percentage make it," said Bailey. "Everybody agrees he's got something special. Being at a club like United will help him develop.

"They look after their players very well and that was a big factor in his parents making the decision."

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