Stoke City make bid for NYCFC's Jack Harrison - sources
Stoke City are hoping to sign New York City FC's budding English star Jack Harrison after making an official enquiry for his services, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC, though the midfielder says he's focused on his current club.
Harrison played at Manchester United's academy, but he left England at the age of 14 to try his luck in the United States.
The 21-year-old has impressed for NYCFC under Patrick Vieira over the last 18 months and was rewarded with a pair of call-ups to the England under-21 squad.
Harrison scored 10 goals with six assists in MLS last season, and his progress has not gone unnoticed with several Premier League clubs keeping a watching brief on him, sources said.
Goal.com, which first reported Stoke's interest, said Stoke had made a $4.5 million (£3.25m) offer for Harrison, with incentives that could rise to $6m (£4.3m), after NYCFC rejected a $3m (£2.2m) offer.
Harrison did not deny the reports in an interview with ESPN FC on Saturday in the Los Angeles area as part of MLS's preseason media tour.
"Nothing is official right now. I just leave all that stuff to my agent," he said of the reports. "As of right now I'm a New York City player, so my focus is here. I leave all of that with [my agency] to see what they can do."
Despite his insistence that he's focused on NYCFC, Harrison, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent, made no secret that it is a goal of his to someday play in the Premier League.
"Everyone dreams of playing in the top leagues in Europe. The Premier League is one of the top leagues there," he said. "It would be a dream to play there but my focus is here right now. I'm a New York City player right now, nothing is official, so we'll just have to see what happens."
Stoke are currently 17th in the Premier League table, two points above the relegation zone, and new manager Paul Lambert is looking to add some new faces to his squad to help them in their fight to stay up.
ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle contributed to this report.
Peter O'Rourke is ESPN FC's transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.