MANCHESTER United are eyeing up a sensational bid for Blackpool’s Tom Ince – but he won’t be going any time soon.
The winger has been in superb form for the Seasiders this season, firing six goals in eight appearances.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to be a great admirer of the star and has instructed his scouts to monitor Ince in the coming weeks.
While bids for the 19-year-old will undoubtedly arrive at Bloomfield Road in January, The Gazette understand it’s highly unlikely he will be allowed to leave.
Ince’s father, former England and United midfielder Paul, has told Pool boss Ian Holloway that he has no wish for Tom to leave until next summer, at the very earliest, and not even an offer from the Premier League giants would change that.
The former Liverpool youngster is away on international duty this week, preparing for England U21s’ two-legged European Championship play-off against Serbia.
Ince returned to the Blackpool side for Saturday’s home defeat by Charlton, having missed the trips to Cardiff and Hull with a hip injury.
He was introduced as a second-half substitute, with Pool already a goal down, but reports suggesting Sir Alex was at Bloomfield Road to watch the star are inaccurate.
Holloway admits he may have brought Ince back a little too soon. He said: “Tom only trained for an hour on Friday, so it was maybe a little too early to pick him.
“Maybe I should have, though – in that first half-hour, when we were dominating possession, maybe he’d have been the difference.
“In recent weeks he has been the difference with a little trick or whatever, so maybe we have been missing him.”
Holloway plucked Ince from Liverpool’s reserves before easing him into the side last season.
The winger repaid his manager’s faith with a host of brilliant displays, including a goal at Wembley in the play-off final.
And the Pool boss knows the value of his star man. “He’s been brilliant at times this season for me,” Holloway added.
“But we aren’t a one-man team, Tom will be the first to tell you how important his team-mates are in his development.
“But he can provide that spark to open up a game, which maybe we’ve missed in recent weeks. Even at Cardiff we had plenty of the play. We didn’t create the chances, though, and we let in some cheap goals. It was the same with Huddersfield before half-time and against Hull.”
- The Seasiders’ Development Squad were in action against Tranmere yesterday but lost 4-1.
Chris Basham and Scott Robertson both got a valuable 90 minutes under their belt.
Pool’s goal came from Algerian striker Adda Djezeri, his sixth for the second string.