Manchester City has a clause to acquire a 14-year-old wunderkind

MLS: Philadelphia Union press conference to announce Cavan Sullivan signing, Cavan Sullivan, manchester city
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Over the past decade, American-born players have begun to move over to play soccer in Europe at an increasingly rising rate.

The Premier League has been at the forefront of the revolution, with a US-born player participating every season since the competition began in 1992-93.

Now, the league’s golden standard club, Manchester City, has set themselves up to sign the latest American wunderkind.

Manchester City is set to acquire Cavan Sullivan

On Thursday morning, 14-year-old Cavan Sullivan and MLS side Philadelphia Union agreed to the largest homegrown contract in league history.

The deal comes with a built-in transfer clause to Manchester City once he turns 18, the earliest he’d be eligible to play in England. 

“I’ve always wanted to start my career here because this is my home, and I’ve always been on the sidelines of Quinn’s games and I’ve been in and around the facility when my uncle worked here,” Sullivan said to ESPN. “So, I’ve always been inspired and to play in front of this culture, and these fans are special. But I also think the collaboration between the Union and the City Group was — I think that did it for me. I always watch Man City. They’re like every kid’s dream team. For [Philadelphia and Man City] to come together and agree on something — I sat with my family and my agents, and we decided that it was the best plan.”

Sullivan will join his brother Quinn, who has been with the Union’s first team since 2021. He is expected to debut for the club before July 29, which would make him the youngest player ever to appear in an MLS match.

If Sullivan develops quickly and is ready to move to Europe, the earliest he can be is when he turns 16. He could then go to Girona (Spain), Lommel S.K. (Belgium), Palermo (Italy) and Troyes (France) to continue to develop, as all those clubs are under the City Football Group umbrella.

In terms of where he will play for the Union, the 14-year-old’s position has not been established currently, but he is known as a great attacker who works well with the ball at his feet and can easily take on defenders.

Sullivan is still years away from playing at the Etihad but will be an intriguing player for fans of the blue and white to keep track of for the foreseeable future.

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