Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Dennis Praet after the Anderlecht midfielder's agent talked up the possibility of a transfer to Arsenal or Liverpool.
The Express carries quotes from the Belgium international's representative, Jacques Lichtenstein, which intimate that the 20-year-old will look to leave the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium at the end of the season upon the expiry of his contract.
Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers have been confirmed as admirers of the exciting young talent, along with a couple of clubs in Spain, who continue to monitor his situation with the Belgian Pro League champions.
"Clubs like Valencia, Liverpool, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid are all interesting but Dynamo Kiev are not," revealed Lichtenstein in an interview with Sport Voetbal magazine. "Dennis should go to a team where they play good football.
"What could he learn from another season in Belgium after several campaigns at European level and having contributed to three consecutive league titles?"
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"He is not far from the level of a club like Arsenal" - Jacques Lichtenstein
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is also believed to be keeping tabs on a player that has been likened in his homeland to Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, but judging by the comments made by Praet's agent, Old Trafford is not on the Anderlecht star's list of preferred destinations.
"He is not far from the level of a club like Arsenal if they could give him a year's adjustment period," added Lichtenstein, who also represents Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany. "But I will never push a player in a direction of a transfer.
"You can make a career of twenty years without having a long term vision."
The Gunners appear well placed to secure Praet's signature, with Wenger's track record of nurturing and developing young talent likely to play a pivotal role in getting the player to the Emirates Stadium.
Anfield could be another viable option, but that will probably depend on Liverpool's ongoing participation in the Champions League. Failure to finish in the Premier League's top four this season could have negative implications on the Merseyside club's chances of landing their long-term target.
Praet has played an instrumental role for Besnik Hasi's side in Europe this season, playing against Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund and scoring against Cesare Prandelli's Galatasaray in the Belgian outfit's opening Group D game.
Free to talk in January
His frequent appearances in the elite club competition has given suitors regular opportunities to scout the emerging talent, who has excelled in a creative, attacking midfield role.
The in-demand star will be free to negotiate with foreign clubs when the transfer window reopens in January, and it will be interesting to see which of his growing list of admirers wins the race for his services.
With a Bosman free transfer likely to ensue in the summer of 2015, it won't necessarily be the club that offers the most money, but one that has the most attractive prospects for Praet in the future.
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