York City were today resisting the temptation to dive headlong into the transfer market after the sale of teenager Jonathan Greening to Premiership champions Manchester United.

The Evening Press understands the Greening transfer netted City an initial £500,000 in a deal which could eventually be worth almost £2 million.

But City manager Alan Little declared the club would not splash the United cash before tomorrow's transfer deadline, instead opting to get the most from their money in the summer.

"There will be no money available at the moment. I do not feel it is the right time to spend money in the transfer market with the opportunity in the summer to pick players up for no fee," said Little.

"Why should we speculate money in the market when those players could be available in five or six weeks time for free."

Meanwhile, Greening hailed a "dream move" to the club he has supported since the age of six, but revealed his delight was tinged with disappointment at leaving City.

"It is a fantastic move. I am disappointed with leaving York because I have been there for five years and made loads of friends. But it is a great opportunity to go there," said the 19-year-old.

"It is the best thing that ever happened. It has not sunk in yet and I don't think it will for a while. Alex Ferguson said when I go there I have got to show him what I can do.

"If I prove I am good enough for the first team, he will have no doubts about putting me in. He said I will need a bit of time to settle in but they understand the pressure for young lads is enormous, especially when they buy someone for a huge fee."

The United boss highlighted next year's Coca-Cola Cup as a possible route to the first team for Greening, as has been the case for several other youngsters at Old Trafford.

Said United boss Alex Ferguson: "We've had Jonathan down on trial so several of our staff have seen the boy at close quarters and I was happy to offer him a three year deal."

Ferguson revealed he tracked the teenager's progress for almost a year but any move for the player was held up by his limited City appearances.

The Evening Press understands that an initial bid from United was rejected by City but the Premiership club then invited York to present a package deal.

The deal was thrashed out between City chairman Douglas Craig and the United hierarchy on Monday, before Greening met chairman Martin Edwards and Ferguson to discuss personal terms yesterday.

Added Little: "It is a dream come true for any young player to play for the best club in Europe. It is an opportunity for him to go and do something there. I am absolutely delighted for the lad.

"It is another product of the youth and shows that the system is right. We do not want to lose them but if Manchester United want someone you cannot stand in someone's way. It is important people do not lose sight of that.

"We cannot deny him the right to play for Manchester United. It is a good deal for York City financially, we got what we could get. There is a lump sum and the rest is down to him progressing as a footballer."

Sources close to the Manchester club today indicated the initial fee was in the region of £500,000, plus additional cash linked to appearances.

It is also understood the deal includes an extra sum for international recognition, which could eventually take the deal towards the £2 million barrier, plus a sell on clause.

A down payment of £500,000 from United would represent a club record transfer fee, edging out the £450,000 City received from Port Vale for Jon McCarthy.

However, the club netted a further payment of more than £200,000 when the Northern Ireland winger moved to Birmingham earlier this season.

City appear to have negotiated a deal with United to ensure they retain a similar stake in Greening's future progress.

If Greening went on to play for the England Under-21s, following in the footsteps of former City midfielder Darren Williams, the Minstermen may receive a further £250,000.

Williams, who joined Sunderland from City for £50,000 in October 1996, made his international debut in the 2-0 defeat in Switzerland last night, replacing Liverpool defender Dominic Matteo in the 71st minute.

Meanwhile, City Reserves entertain Blackpool in Pontin's League division two at Bootham Crescent tonight (7pm) in a forerunner to Saturday's Nationwide League meeting between the clubs.

It gives striker Marco Gabbiadini a chance to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday's game.

City Reserves: Warrington, Fox, Dawson, Rennison, Atkinson, Alderson, Jordan, Garratt, Cresswell, Tolson, Gabbiadini, Bull, Dale, Ablett.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.