Manchester United Transfer News: Who is West Ham Starlet Reece Oxford?

West Ham defender Reece Oxford poses with Under-21 Premier League Cup.
West Ham defender Reece Oxford poses with fans as he holds the Under-21 Premier League Cup trophy at Upton Park, London, United Kingdom, May 7, 2016. Manchester United manager José Mourinho is reported to be keen on the young English defender. Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Just days after being named as Manchester United's new manager, José Mourinho has already been linked with a spate of players as pundits vie to predict the Portuguese manager's first signing.

Among the glamorous names linked with the FA Cup winners are Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Everton defender John Stones and ex-United midfielder Paul Pogba, now at Juventus. But it seems that Mourinho is interested in a rather less well-known prospect—17 year-old West Ham United defender Reece Oxford.

Speculation is mounting in the British media that Mourinho is prepared to shell out around £10 million ($14.6 million) on the young defender, though the East London club are keen not to sell one of their most precocious prospects. West Ham chairman David Gold replied to a tweet about the future of Oxford and West Ham team-mate Dimitri Payet with a curt rebuttal: "We have no plans to let these players go."

Oxford broke into the West Ham first team in the 2015-16 season, becoming the club's youngest-ever player when he started in a Europa League qualifying match in July 2015 against FC Lusitanos, aged just 16. The young Londoner also started West Ham's first Premier League game of the season, a 0-2 away victory over Arsenal in August 2015, becoming the league's second-youngest starter of all time in an impressive and mature performance.

United have in the past made overtures towards Oxford, who stands at an imposing 1.91 meters tall. The Red Devils, along with other Premier League giants, reportedly sent scouts to watch Oxford during the 2014-15 season, when he cut his teeth in West Ham's under-21 side.

If he is to get his man, Mourinho may just have stumbled upon that most elusive of footballing rarities—an Englishman who can take a penalty. Oxford scored from the spot as England won a penalty shootout in a qualifying match for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup in Chile, where the team failed to progress from the group stage.