Manchester United have handed a four-day trial to Southend teenager Medi Abalimba.
The 16-year-old midfielder will link up with the Premier League champions at the end of the month in the hope of sealing a move to Old Trafford.
Abalimba has yet to figure at first-team level at Roots Hall but Ricky Duncan, the club's head of youth development, believes it provides the perfect 'learning curve' for the youngster.
'He will go to Manchester at the end of the month and they assess him in training and maybe take him a bit longer so he can play in a game,' confirmed Duncan.
'As a club we don't want to lose our players to bigger clubs but we should not stop them experiencing these types of things when they come along.
'It is a learning curve for him, and it is fantastic for us that these sides are interested in what we are doing.'