Manchester City striker Liam Delap is set to be the subject of a Championship tug of war with a host of clubs keen on loaning the youngster this summer.
Among those interested, Derby County and Stoke City may have the upper hand given the sentiment between player and clubs.
Delap spent a decade at the Rams’s academy, leaving for City at the age of 16, while Stoke was where his father Rory racked up over 200 appearances, bemusing crowds with his long throw-ins.
Despite this, the 18-year-old could be tempted by sides fighting higher up the Championship table, with Middlesbrough, Cardiff and West Bromwich Albion also reportedly interested.
Of course, there are more factors to consider. If Derby are relegated this season, it will likely put them out of contention. While Albion may be a more attractive proposition for Delap if they drop down from the Premier League, first team chances may be scarce.
At 6’1” tall, the teenager is a powerful striker with surprising pace and a clinical right foot. His haul of 20 goals in 18 PL2 games has turned plenty of heads this campaign, while he also netted his first senior goal against Bournemouth in the EFL Cup as a 17-year-old.
Clearly, Delap already has the physicality to compete at Championship level. Furthermore, his nine goals for England’s various youth teams over the past three seasons demonstrates the extent of his talent.
The City front-man is ready to become battle-hardened, it remains to be seen which second-tier club will secure his signature this summer.