Whenever a rough diamond of a youngster begins to gleam at a lower league club, there is always the threat that bigger clubs will pick them up on their scouting network.
This is the situation with Bury and their 16-year-old forward Rob Harker and interest from none other than Premier League Chelsea.
A source close to the player has told The72 that Chelsea are interested in the Gargrave-born youngster. The source also said Chelsea have invited him to take part in their U-18 preseason. This preseason involves a game against their Bayern Munich counterparts over in Germany.
Harker, who recently finished his GCSE’s has been on the books at Bury since signing scholarship forms with the Lancashire-based club in 2014. Whilst not featuring for the first team, youngster Harker has been knocking on the door and made the bench for the game against Bradford City in March, the day before his 16th birthday.
The recent Chelsea interest, as expressed by our source, is not an isolated instance, with other bids and approaches being made by Premier League teams other than the Blues. This much is almost confirmed by Bury chairman Stewart Day.
In an interview with the Bury Times, Day said: “We have had bids in from two or three Premier League clubs currently. One’s for a 15-year-old and one’s for a 16-year-old (thought to be Harker), but the time has got to be right for us and it’s also got to be right for the player.”
One of the clubs, other than Chelsea, is thought to be Liverpool, with Day saying that significant bids “far in excess of six-figures” have been turned down for the two players – with a bid for Harker thought to be in the region of £200,000.
With Rob Harker being chosen to represent Chelsea’s U18 in this preseason, has the ‘right time’ for the player been reached and will Bury have to face the prospect of yet another starlet leaving Gigg Lane.