Manchester United and Liverpool are monitoring the progress of Fulham Under-21 striker Moussa Dembele, according to reports.
As noted by David Kent of the Daily Mail, Dembele caught the attention of United scouts during the U-21 encounter on Oct. 28:
The Frenchman - who shares a name with the former Cottagers midfielder now plying his trade with Tottenham - impressed during a recent Under 21 clash with United.
David Moyes' No 2 Steve Round, along with coaches Phil Neville and Nicky Butt, were impressed with the 17-year-old who scored in the 2-2 draw.
Meanwhile, Alan Nixon of the Mirror suggests Liverpool are circling the player after a string of impressive displays.
Dembele joined the Cottagers during the summer of 2012 from Paris Saint-Germain. The physical youngster cost £284,000—the maximum sum allowed for academy players—and has helped the Fulham Under-21s to second in the table, per Soccerway.
He is a powerful and pacey presence, capable of playing a lone striker’s role or aiding his team from wide positions.
As noted on the club’s official website, Dembele recently scored two goals and provided an assist in the younger side’s 3-1 victory over Bolton U-21s, despite only playing 75 minutes.
He also scored both goals in the side’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle, prior to impressing Manchester United representatives, as confirmed in the side's official report.
Manchester United may be looking to bolster their attacking ranks with a January move for the powerful forward.
Jason Burt of The Telegraph believes Tottenham may attempt to lure Javier Hernandez away from the Premier League champions during the summer, while Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail suggests Arsenal could do the same.
Liverpool are currently relying on Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge for goals, with Iago Aspas currently injured and struggling to find his feet at the club.
Dembele is unlikely to receive first-team action across the next season, but this campaign is a vital time for the player’s development.
Should Moyes or Brendan Rodgers believe he represents a worthwhile deal, either manager would do well to secure the France Under-17 player’s future before too long.
The Red Devils have already benefited from the emergence of one academy product this season.
Which club would offer Moussa Dembele the best development at this stage in his career?
Adnan Januzaj’s majestic performances since his senior debut highlight the importance of fresh-thinking, pressure-free youth who can make a real difference when bursting onto the scene. At times, the Belgian starlet has been United’s only creative spark.
Rodgers is a keen promoter of youth, as highlighted by his decision to give Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso first-team appearances last season.
Interest in Dembele will only galvanise if he continues to tot up a significant amount of goals. His displays in a higher age group suggest this is a player who should be earmarked for the future, wherever that may lie.