Manchester United have been offered fresh hope of signing Norwegian teen sensation Martin Odegaard after the self-confessed Liverpool supporter played down suggestions of a possible transfer to Anfield.
The 15-year-old attacking midfielder - who became his country's youngest ever player after making his international debut against the United Arab Emirates last month - has attracted widespread interest from a host of top European clubs in recent months, after rising to prominence following a series of impressive performances for Stromsgodset.
Odegaard has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with The Telegraph reporting in August that Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal wants to bring the player to Old Trafford.
With additional interest from Ajax, Juventus, Real Madrid and AS Roma the talented teenager is by no means short of admirers, but Liverpool were believed to be best placed to sign the player due to the fact that Odegaard supports them.
However, in the latest turn of events Brendan Rodgers has been dealt a blow in his alleged pursuit of the youngster, after he intimated that his boyhood persuasion would have no impact on his eventual transfer decision.
Martin Odegaard quote:
"Liverpool are my favourite club," Odegaard admitted in an interview with Dagbladet Sport. "[But] that is not to say that I dream to play for them.
"I'm thriving at Stromsgodset and feel that I can develop myself right here."
Odegaard is one of the most sought-after young players in world football at the moment after making a seamless transition into senior football with three goals in 18 appearances for Stromsgodset so far.
But, with his current contract with the Tippeligaen outfit set to expire next summer, the midfielder looks almost certain to leave the Marienlyst Stadion in the not too distant future.
Liverpool will still be hoping to convince Odegaard that his career prospects will be best served on Merseyside, but will face stiff competition for the in-demand star's services as more and more suitors come to the fore.
After successfully navigating a return to the Champions League this season, Rodgers will know that his side will need to qualify for Europe's elite club competition again in 2015/16 if they are going to challenge all the other interested parties.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are currently without any European football for the first time in over two decades, following a disappointing seventh place finish in the Premier League last term.
Van Gaal has been tasked with changing the club's fortunes and spent more than £150 million on new players during the summer transfer window, whilst also courting Odegaard with one eye on the long-term future at Old Trafford.