By Sean Fisher

8th Dec, 2022 | 3:10pm

Rangers 'given permission' to speak to James Wilson, but Manchester United lead race for Hearts youngster

Rangers have fallen behind Manchester United in the race to sign 15-year-old Hearts starlet James Wilson, according to Glasgow Times.

Wilson has been a standout performer in the Hearts academy, but the creative midfielder is unable to sign a professional contract until his 16th birthday next month.

Rangers made an early move for his signature this week with officials writing a letter to Hearts informing them of their intention to speak to Wilson about moving to Ibrox. [Daily Record]

Despite not needing permission from the player’s club, Rangers were given the green light to discuss a contract with Wilson according to the Glasgow Times.

However, they add that Manchester United are “leading the race” to sign Wilson the moment he becomes eligible for professional terms.

“The Ibrox club are also trying to sign Hearts youngster Wilson, but there is serious interest from English clubs too with United leading the chase,” explains the report.

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“Rangers have been given permission from Hearts to speak to the creative wide midfielder.”

Stick to your roots

Hearts will have resigned to losing Wilson the moment he turns 16, but the midfielder has a huge choice to make.

Either the glitz and glamour of the Premier League with Manchester United, or sticking to Scottish roots with Rangers.

Game time is far more likely for the 15-year-old at Ibrox, and Micahel Beale has already shown during his short time at the club that he’s willing to give youngsters an opportunity after he invited Zak Lovelace to join first-team training.

It’s a tough ask for Rangers to convince a player to pick them instead of a Premier League giant, but there certainly is a big lure about joining Gers.

The club is embarking on a new and exciting venture with Beale now at the helm, and the club’s focus on long-term projects and bringing through young players should make Ibrox a hub for exciting talent.

In other Rangers news, Tam McManus has suggested there could still be change in the boardroom despite Douglas Park staying on as chairman