Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush has swapped the red half of Merseyside for the blue half of Manchester on a scouting mission for Manchester City.
Kop-hero Rush – who made more than 400 league appearances for the Reds – scoured Central America to find young players to compete for places in the club’s academy, visiting Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama.
The former Liverpool, Juventus and Newcastle United striker selected six young players from across the region to participate in a 10-day trial overseen by City youth coach Paul Power.
The cash-rich Blues have joined forces with mobile phone operator Digicel in the search for starlets, and sent Rush to find players worthy of having the opportunity to join up with the club’s multi-million pound squad.
“Ian’s remit was to simply find talent. The youngsters now have the opportunity to impress the City trainers and earn the right to stay as part of the team,” said a Digicel source.
Despite Rush’s attacking prowess, young Panamanian goalkeeper Kevin Melgar has attracted the most attention out of the Welshman’s six recommendations.
“Performance-wise, some of the guys are ahead of the others,” said Power.
“Melgar is an excellent goalkeeper and he is very agile – in the shooting sessions with the rest of the boys, he made some great saves.”
Power also complimented the mentality of the young players who made the long journey to City’s Platt Lane academy complex.
“I was very impressed with their positive attitude – especially for some of them whose first time this is leaving the country,” he said.