According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur are set to beat rivals Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign Blackburn Rovers teenage defender Ashley Phillips this summer. A product of the Blackburn Rovers youth academy, Phillips made his first-team debut for the EFL Championship club earlier this month, aged 17 and has accrued three appearances so far after featuring on the bench on a few occasions last season.

Held in the highest of regard within the club, the 6ft 4in defender is a regular for the England Under-17 national team and has made five appearances so far. Alerted by his potential, Tottenham have been tracking the teenage centre-half since last year, while Manchester United and Chelsea have been keeping tabs on the youngster.

Chelsea have been bringing in young talents with new owner Todd Boehly intent on building a team for the future while also strengthening the first-team squad. To that end, they have brought in young talents like Gabriel Slonina and Carney Chukwuemeka this summer, while the Blues are also closing in on the capture of Cesare Casadei from Inter Milan. And Phillips is also on their radars with an eye on the future.

Manchester United have been long known for their tradition of nurturing and backing young talent. They have recruited heavily on the youth level in recent years, especially when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge. They are likely to continue to do so, with new manager Erik ten Hag also known for his propensity to blood young talent, which has seen them target a move for Phillips.

However, as per the report, Chelsea and Manchester United are set to miss out on the services of the 17-year-old Phillips, with Tottenham now close to signing him from Blackburn Rovers. Spurs have also been adding to their squad with the future in mind, as seen by their recruitment of Djed Spence and Destiny Udogie, with the latter being loaned back to Udinese.


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