Watford have revealed they turned down a bid from Manchester City for Sean Murray after signing the highly-rated youngster on scholarship and professional terms today.
The 16-year-old attacking midfielder has put pen to paper on a three-year deal, although this cannot be activated until he turns 17 in October.
Murray said: “I was flattered to receive the interest from Manchester City, but I’m delighted to be signing at Watford as they have been a major part of my development. I just want to now get on with playing football and improving as much as I can here.”
From Abbots Langley, Murray has been with the Hornets since 2002 and he was part of the original intake at The Harefield Academy in 2007. He will continue his education at the school as part of his scholarship.
Murray is the second Academy prospect to sign a professional contract in as many days after keeper Jonathan Bond also signed a three-year deal yesterday.
Malky Mackay said: “Sean is someone who has attracted a lot of attention, so we’re delighted to have him sign for us at Watford.
“He’s had a lot to deal with in the last six months or so and he’s coped with it incredibly well.
“We’ve spoken to his parents and they’re good people.
“Sean is now on board and under the care of Joe McBride [youth team coach] from day-to-day.
“He’s coming on well and now it’s up to him to push on as much as he can.
“We’ve got a fantastic set-up at The Harefield Academy and the amount of touches of the ball and training time the kids get is fantastic and we’re now starting to see the results of that.”
Chief executive Julian Winter added: “We have said before how fundamental and unique the Academy is to this football club and this again proves that.
“It is another great achievement to see a youngster sign a professional deal with the club and we’re incredibly pleased to have been able to secure a top talent for the next three years.”