THE IRISH FA have announced that 16-year-old Ethan Galbraith has joined Manchester United.
The teenager has agreed a three-year deal with the Red Devils, which includes an initial one-year scholarship before a two-year pro contract.
Galbraith, who plays as a defensive midfielder, is the captain of Northern Ireland U17s and has already made his U18 debut for his country.
The Co. Antrim native was spotted playing for Linfield’s U16s by United scout Tony Coulter last year and subsequently impressed in a trial with the club.
Jim Magilton, the Irish FA’s Elite Performance Director, said: “We are all delighted that Ethan has signed for Manchester United.
“He has been a part of our Elite Development Programme from the beginning, and we have been able to watch with enormous pride the huge progress he has made during that journey over the past four years.
“He was a pleasure to work with due to his character, attitude and enthusiasm for the game. He is an outstanding talent and I'm sure he will continue to develop and improve at such a fantastic club.
— JD Club NI (@OfficialClubNI) June 28, 2017
“We wish him all the very best and look forward to seeing him playing for Northern Ireland in the years to come.”
After signing his deal, Ethan said it was an "unbelievable" feeling to have signed for the iconic Old Trafford club.
“I signed my pre-contract with Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs back in January. It was unbelievable meeting them," he told The Irish Mirror.
“I went over to watch United play Liverpool at Old Trafford. Then I went into a wee room to sign the contract, and when I saw Giggs and Butt, it was mental.
“I am just a teenager from Glengormley who has always wanted to play full-time football. So to sign a deal with a club like Manchester United is massive.
“When I started out in football, my dream was to one day go to England and make a career out of it."
The delighted teenager added: “I always wanted to do this from a young age, but to be honest I never would have dreamt of signing for Manchester United. It is amazing.”