He was Scottish football's next big prospect.

Invited to train with Rangers with a view to a permanent move, Livingston youngster Matthew Knox jumped at the chance. Having made his league debut at just 16 against the Ibrox outfit in a 1-0 win, the future looked rosy for the midfielder.

Manchester United were next to come calling. And, had the teenager allowed, he could easily have got carried away when strutting his stuff alongside Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the Trafford Training Centre pitches.

That, though, is where it all went somewhat pear-shaped for the Livi lad. Neither move materialised, despite Mark Warburton's desire to seal a deal. Jose Mourinho was also intrigued and had Knox train at United two more times. No offer was forthcoming.

To have a dream move crumble would be difficult to accept for even the steeliest of footballers. But Knox was just a kid. And he admits he found it difficult to cope with. "Starting at Livi, for the first two seasons things were going great, I was flying," Knox told Herald and Times Sport. "Then I was looking to move on and I felt like it was going well. It was a knock-on effect though, one club would come in for me and it wouldn't happen. Then another and it wouldn't happen.

"I was young and all I wanted to do was play football, so it did get to me and messed with my head. I was always feeling like I wouldn't get my chance to move on and really progress as a footballer. My head went, it did go down.

"The Rangers game was my first start for Livi. Walking out, I was only 16, I had never experienced fans like that before. To get an assist and beat them 1-0, that's when I thought that things could go places for me. I never got above my station and kept myself grounded, but that was one of the best games and nights of my life.

"Rangers then came in with a bid and I went to train with them for three days. They wanted to take me which was massive for me, because it gave me a big boost. But as fast as it came about, it went away faster.

"I also went to train at Manchester United three or four times. The first time I went, players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba walking past you, you're like, 'Wow'. I was only a kid, what was I doing there? The second time I had to think that's what it was. I had to train as best I could, and I actually did quite well.

"It's like Disneyland for footballers down there. The gyms, facilities, standard of coaching. I always felt when I went there and trained for a week, two weeks, that when I came back to Livi again, I was always much sharper and my confidence was sky-high.

"That didn't work out either, which was another let down. But I said to myself on that one, 'It's Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, there's so many people who wouldn't ever even have had the chance to train there'. I took it as a positive.

"When I was training or in the cafeteria, Mourinho was always kicking about. He would always interact with the younger ones and would never pass you. But I never got the inclination that he was that interested specifically, to be honest. Who am I when there's guys like Pogba walking around? Nicky Butt was the coach and he came across like a really great guy who liked me as a player."

Knox, now 19, is still only a youngster in the grand scheme of things. Though he is much more switched on and level-headed than ever. He accredits that to those now looking out for him, those with his best interests at heart.

He is finished being THAT player who, from the outside looking in, never settles because he is always on trial at this club, then the next. He also feels he is better equipped to deal with the pressure now.

Barely even a man at the time, Knox was forced to handle constant phone calls about his future. Would it be Celtic or Rangers? Sunderland or Norwich? Speculation mounted which caused one eye to stray from the football he was playing on the pitch. "It was exciting to start with, seeing myself and my name in the papers," he admitted.

"But when it gets deep into it I wanted to keep myself to myself. It was massive pressure. Especially at Rangers, they are a huge club and I was getting taunted with questions and people phoning me, asking me all these questions. I didn't really know how to deal with it at all, I was only 16-years-old.

"I feel like I didn't really get managed properly on how to deal with that side of it.

"I went to Sunderland for a couple of days but they wanted me to play a game for them, which I did. It was okay but, at the time, I had bigger and better things going on. I also spent time at Tottenham Hotspur.

"It goes back to how I was managed when I was younger, I think that could have been taken care of. Yeah, go on trial to Manchester United and Tottenham, they're two massive clubs. But you don't need to send a young kid on trial to all these different clubs for all these clubs to have a look.

"If it doesn't work out at all these clubs, it hinders you in the future a bit. It then becomes, 'Why isn't he settling at a club?' I know I can play, I can't really let being down south on trial affect me. If I could go back I don't know what I'd even change. In my mind I did everything right. It was just, in the end when it came to it, it never quite worked out."

A free agent for the first time in his career, Knox - once again - is not short of offers. But he knows he must make the right decision this time after spending some time at Brechin City before lockdown came into play.

No matter where he plays his football next season, the attacker reckons he has a point to prove. To silence all the doubters and those he feels have written him off. "I feel like I do have a point to prove," he added. "That I want to show everybody.

"People were on my side when things were good, but as soon as it went downhill a bit, I got dropped like a hot potato. I want to show people that I will be a football player, I know I'm good enough to go and play. I'm trying to keep myself in the mindset that I'm better than that and that I will make a career in football. You have to keep that confidence."