Leeds United's new Championship rivals splash £15m to sign teenage international

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One of Leeds United’s new Championship rivals have shelled out £15m to sign a teenage international.

Recently-relegated Southampton had already been busy in the summer transfer market, signing Republic Of Ireland left back Ryan Manning from Swansea City in addition to landing young pair Derrick Abu and Ryan McNamara from Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

The Saints also appointed former Swansea City boss Russell Martin as their new manager last month and the south coast outfit have now splashed out £15m to sign versatile 19-year-old Northern Ireland international midfielder Shea Charles from Manchester City on a four-year deal.

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Charles leaves City having made just the one appearance for the first team but the teenager already has six caps for Northern Ireland. The midfielder who can also play as a centre-back was handed his City debut in last season’s Premier League finale against Brentford, coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Pep Guardiola’s champions.

Charles, who had been with City since the age of seven, told Southampton’s official website: “I feel like the way the manager’s going to play will really suit me, and obviously some of the players that I know (from City) have done very well here last season in the Premier League, so there’s no reason why I can’t come in and do similar things.

“He (Russell Martin) called me the other night, explaining that it will be good for me with the possession-based football that he looks to play, and I just can’t wait. I feel like the main thing is promotion for this club, because we belong in the Premier League. I can’t wait to start pre-season and get into the Championship games.”

Boss Martin said: “Shea is a very talented, intelligent and mature young player with great potential to develop his game with us. He has been well schooled at Manchester City, coming through an elite Academy all the way to the first team. We’ve watched him closely and we’re confident he’s got the right attributes to help us in the way we’re going to play.”