Manchester United are lining up a dramatic deadline-day swoop for Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard, who has been labelled the ‘new Lionel Messi’. The 15-year-old made history last week after becoming Norway’s youngest ever international and reports suggest he could now secure a dream move to the Premier League giants.
This latest development comes courtesy of Sky Sport News - and brought to our attention by the Metro - who claim that the Red Devils hope to secure the teenager’s signature before the transfer window closes at 11pm this evening.
United leading race for Odegaard
It was reported last month that Manchester United were leading the race to sign Odegaard, who has previously trained with both the Red Devils and Bayern Munich.
The youngster, who currently plays for Norwegian Premier League side Stromsgodset, impressed coaches at both clubs thanks to his skill, technique and maturity.
Odegaard, despite having made his international debut, would not be thrust into the Manchester United first-team on arrival at Old Trafford. He would almost certainly either spend time with the club’s reserve side or be sent out on loan, potentially back to Stromsgodset, for the season.
Comparisons with Messi and Januzaj
The talented teenager has earned favourable comparisons with Barcelona icon Messi thanks to his exceptional close control, low centre or gravity and superb left foot.
In many ways, he bares striking similarities to current Manchester United star Adnan Januzaj, who arrived at Old Trafford in from Anderlecht in 2011 at the tender age of 16 and made his senior debut two years later.
Like Januzaj, Odegaard is physically slight but is able to hold his own against defenders twice his size - and twice his age - thanks to his remarkable technical ability.
United busy on deadline day
The recently-capped Norwegian was reportedly the standout player on his international debut against the United Arab Emirates last week, but is not expected to play against England at Wembley on Wednesday night.
If Manchester United successfully lure Odegaard to Old Trafford, it would cap off a stunning transfer window for the Red Devils, who are poised to announce the signing of Colombia international Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan deal.
United have already spent £132 million on the signings of Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Angel di Maria this summer. The acquisitions of Danny Blind, Falcao and, potentially, Odegaard will bring the club’s total expenditure to well over the £150 million mark.