Manchester United prospect set to boost County's front line on deadline day

PLEASED: County boss Graham Coughlan has moved for Manchester United's Charlie McNeill <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
PLEASED: County boss Graham Coughlan has moved for Manchester United's Charlie McNeill (Image: Newsquest)

MANCHESTER United prospect Charlie McNeill will be charged with adding to Newport County AFC’s goal threat for the rest of the season after agreeing to a loan move.

The 19-year-old is poised to be announced as the Exiles’ third addition of the January window on deadline day, following Stoke City defender Matt Baker and Port Vale midfielder Harry Charsley through the door.

Manager Graham Coughlan has endured plenty of frustration when attempting to add to his forward options but has had success in snapping up the Red Devils’ hot prospect.

The Manchester Evening News reported on Monday that he was heading for Wales and then pictures of the forward in a County kit were leaked online.

McNeill, who moved to United from Manchester City for £750,000 three years ago, was in demand this window but will head to Rodney Parade with the prospect of featuring heavily for a side that have scored just nine League Two goals in open play.

The striker has played for United’s Under-21s in the EFL Trophy and made his first team debut with a brief outing off the bench against Real Sociedad in October.

McNeill will join Omar Bogle, Offrande Zanzala, Will Evans and Lewis Collins as an option up front, charged with scoring the goals to steer the club away from the relegation zone.

“We are looking and there have been a lot of players that we have just missed out on,” said Coughlan at the end of last week.

“We know how far we have come and how far we’ve got to go, we’re not daft and we know what we need.

“If we could get a little bit more quality with some attacking options by Tuesday that would be brilliant and I am very hopeful.”

County have so far brought in Baker and McNeill on loan while Charsley dropped down from League One for an 18-month deal and a reunion with Coughlan, who was his boss at Mansfield.

Stalwarts Matty Dolan and Robbie Willmott have left on loan for Hartlepool and Walsall respectively – and that is likely to signal the end of their County careers as their contracts expire in the summer – while loanees Thierry Nevers (West Ham), Hayden Lindley (Aston Villa) and Chanka Zimba (Cardiff) returned to their parent clubs.