Luca Fletcher, a Reading youth striker, will join the Premier League this summer.
The 16-year-old England youth international believes he can advance his career faster away from League One.
Manchester City have agreed to sign Fletcher to a lucrative contract, with Royals Academy Manager Michael Gilkes acknowledging that the Royals could not compete with City’s offer.
“Within our Academy, we have a completely dedicated team who take enormous pride in developing young footballers, both as people and as players,” Gilkes told the Reading Chronicle.
Our Academy’s role has always been to give a return on investment. We wish to see young athletes with the Reading crest on their chest playing for our first team, scoring goals, making tackles, and maintaining clean sheets.
“However, that return can also be represented by the might of Manchester City offering a significant sum for the services of a 16-year-old footballer we helped develop.” We will proudly watch Luca’s progress into professional football and wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.”
Fletcher wrote on Instagram, “The end of a chapter.” It has been a joy to begin my career with this club. I’d like to thank all of the coaches, staff, and players that helped shape me into the player I am today. #newchapter.”