Liam Delap’s immediate future is firmly in Manchester City’s hands, Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has insisted.

Liam Delap has been heavily linked with a loan move to the Championship this summer, with Stoke City mentioned as potential suitors.

West BromBournemouthPreston North End and Millwall have also been said keen on Delap, who could depart Manchester City on loan in a bid for more first-team action.

Now, Stoke boss Michael O’Neill has opened up on the club’s rumoured interest in the 18-year-old.

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Speaking with Stoke on Trent Live, the Potters boss has remained coy on the club’s pursuit of the striker, stating none of the clubs keen have any control over Delap’s situation.

Here’s what he had to say on the matter:

“Look, other clubs are being linked but none of us have any control over the situation.

“That is totally controlled by Manchester City so there’s nothing really I can comment on that situation.”

It remains to be seen just what City have planned for Delap this season. Pep Guardiola rates the former Derby County prodigy very highly, but a campaign of consistent first-team football could be best for his development.

Family link

The Delap family are already etched in Stoke City history thanks to club legend Rory Delap, father of Liam.

The Manchester City prodigy would be an eye-catching signing for the Potters, given just how sought-after he is. However, with City seemingly biding their time on a decision, it will be interesting to see how the situation pans out.

Starring at youth level

Delap is highly-rated by Guardiola and co, which comes as no surprise given his record at youth level.

The young striker has netted 27 goals in 24 games for City’s U23s, along with his 11 goals in 17 games for the club’s U18s. He has also played three times for the club’s senior side, scoring once.