Tottenham Hotspur is reportedly set to challenge Manchester United and Liverpool in the pursuit of Hayden Hackney, the promising midfielder from Middlesbrough.
Having joined Boro’s academy at the age of 10, Hackney has progressed through the ranks and made his senior debut in January 2021.
Since then, he has accumulated 63 appearances for Michael Carrick’s side, including 21 starts in the Championship this season, primarily in the defensive midfielder role.
Hackney showcased his talent by scoring his second goal of the season, the first in the EFL Cup, leading Middlesbrough to a narrow 1-0 home victory over Chelsea in the first leg of their semi-final clash on Tuesday.
Not only is Hackney highly regarded at Middlesbrough, but he has also earned five international caps for England’s Under-21 team, including his debut in September.
Although the midfielder is under contract at Middlesbrough until 2027, several top English clubs are closely monitoring his development, raising speculation about a potential future transfer.
Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City have all shown interest in Hackney, with Tottenham Hotspur now entering the race, according to the Evening Standard.
Middlesbrough anticipates offers for Hackney next summer but has made it clear that they will only consider selling the midfielder in January if they receive an exceptional bid.
Clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, and Liverpool may be inclined to pursue Hackney due to potential difficulties in meeting their homegrown player quota in UEFA competitions next season.
UEFA rules stipulate that teams must have a minimum of eight players trained by clubs from the same national league, with at least four from their own youth system. This requirement has led England’s top clubs to scout young talents like Hackney.
Despite interest from Premier League clubs, Hackney is reportedly keen on staying at Middlesbrough until the end of the current season before evaluating his options in the summer.
While Tottenham Hotspur temporarily puts its pursuit of Hackney on hold, manager Ange Postecoglou remains committed to strengthening the squad in other areas.
The signing of forward Timo Werner from RB Leipzig on an initial loan deal until the end of the season, with an option to buy next summer, is the first step in bolstering the team.
Tottenham Hotspur is also closing in on the acquisition of Genoa defender Radu Dragusin. Recent reports suggest that the club has reached a full agreement to sign the Romanian for €25m (£21.5m) plus add-ons.