Martin Odegaard has established himself as perhaps the most coveted teenager in European football, and the interest in the Strømsgodset midfielder was evident when he reported for international duty with Norway.
Odegaard broke a century old record when he made his Norway debut in August aged 15 years and 253 days and, barring any catastrophe, there will be plenty more notable achievements to come for the youngster over the months and years ahead.
He is back in the Norway squad for a Euro 2016 qualification double header, with visit to Malta on Friday followed by an encounter with Bulgaria on Monday, and Odegaard was courted more than any other player after he joined up with his teammates.
A picture tweeted on Monday by Jan Aage Fjortoft, the former Premier League forward and Norway international, showed Odegaard surrounded by members of the press, who were prepared to get take any vantage point in order to get a snap of the teenager.
Plenty of interest
This interest in soundbites and pictures of Odegaard comes as no surprise given the esteemed clubs reported to be in pursuit of his signature, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all linked. Not bad going for a 15-year-old.
Odegaard is reported to have already trained with Bayern Munich and Manchester United as both clubs assess whether or not to formalise their interest, although it is unclear what decision Pep Guardiola and Louis van Gaal will take.
There are now claims that Barcelona have invited the player to have a trial with them, and it should probably be expected that Manchester City and Liverpool will, at some point, follow suit.
Barcelona are, of course, banned from making any signings for the next two transfer windows, meaning Odegaard could officially join in January 2016 at the earliest, but the Catalans would hope they can convince him to hold out for a move to the Camp Nou.
Odegaard already resembles a product of Barca’s fabled La Masia academy, and his performances for Strømsgodset have led to generous comparisons with Lionel Messi.
"It’s very flattering to get so much praise, but one shouldn’t compare himself with players as good as that,” Odegaard said of being likened to Messi.
“However I do look up to a lot of footballers and try to improve by looking at what they do, and Messi is one of them."
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