MANCHESTER UNITED have linked up with Chelsea to aid the development of young players.
The Red Devils and Premier League leaders have joined forces over a six-week programme taking place at England’s St George’s Park base.
The idea is to display some of the best young talent in a bid to form an ‘elite playground’ to aid development.
United academy operations director Nick Cox has been pleased with the results and the progressive-minded approach from the Premier League rivals.
He said: “We put a project in place due to our good relationship with Chelsea.
“We have similar thoughts on how to develop players and, this year, decided to meet them at St George’s Park where three of the younger age groups played all day across every format of the game.
“It was the best players, we perceive, in the north and south of the country in a pressurised situation.
“It was difficult but almost created an elite playground.
“It was a playground type of football against the best players out there and it was an absolutely fantastic experience and is not something that is done anywhere else.”
United’s Head of academy Nicky Butt added: “We want to take an innovative approach to our games programme so it is one that maybe gives us an edge over our opponents.
“We’ve devised a variety of experiences, on and off the pitch, for all our age groups.
“It’s an opportunity to stretch the players and provide different challenges.”