It was never going to be easy for Manchester United or Liverpool to capture Ryan Gauld and, somewhat unsurprisingly, it has now emerged that other prominent clubs in Europe are pursuing the Dundee United teenager.
The 17-year-old has risen to prominence this season, his first in professional football, by scoring five goals from midfield in 15 appearances in the Scottish Premier League, while Gauld's most recent performance saw him provide four assists.
Gauld set up all of United's goals in the 4-1 triumph over Partick Thistle on Saturday, and speculation about his future continued to mount, with Manchester United and Liverpool credited with interest in the player dubbed 'Mini Messi'.
However, The Courier reports that David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers will be contested in their respective pursuits of the Scotland under-21 international by at least one club in Italy and two in Germany.
It is claimed that a side from Serie A is known to be interested in Gauld - even going so far as to make an approach - while two teams from the Bundesliga are monitoring the progress of the teenage star.
These three clubs are reported to be prepared to test the resolve of the club to keep Gauld in the January transfer window, and it would come as little surprise if Manchester United or Liverpool did the same.
£3 million plus add-ons could be enough to clinch the player's signature, with Everton also in the running to sign him.