One of the biggest clubs in the world could be set to sign one of Scotland's brightest talents after it emerged that Real Madrid are reportedly tracking Dundee United 's 17-year-old starlet Ryan Gauld.
The Aberdeen-born attacking-midfielder was watched by Real scouts on Wednesday during his side's 4-1 League Cup win over Partick Thistle at Tannadice. This comes after the Real scouts were sent on a mission around Europe to search for the next group of superstars.
Gauld made his league debut for the club against Motherwell at the end of last season and has featured in 18 matches.
United midfielder John Rankin, speaking after the Thistle match, insisted Gauld has what it takes to become a star.
"Ryan has a massive future," Rankin was quoted by the Daily Mail. "The talent in the boy is incredible. If he is being linked with Real Madrid at that age, then it wouldn't surprise me - it really wouldn't.
"He is so level headed and if anyone deserves it, it would be him. I don't know if someone is hyping it up or someone is just trying to make a story. But I hope for the sake of the boy it's true.
"It certainly would not surprise me if he moved on to a big club. You want to see him doing well. He is so grounded and I hope for his sake and for the sake of the club - and a right few million - that it's true," he added.
If the Spanish side do decide to further their interest in Gauld, he will not be the only Scotland youngster hoping to grace the pitch at the famous Bernabeu.
Real have already snapped up one of Scotland's talents after signing Malaga born 17-year-old youth international Jack Harper to their academy three years ago. Harper's Scottish parents moved to Spain before his birth and he was signed to the Real youth side after impressing for local club Los Boliches.
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