Manchester United's hopes of beating Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea to the signing of Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard have been dealt a blow after Stromsgodset's sporting director Jostein Flo claimed their alleged bid has not reached him.
The Daily Star reports that the highly-rated attacking midfielder is one of the most in-demand players on the continent at the moment as a host of top European clubs attempt to secure his services on his 16th birthday in a little over two weeks time.
Odegaard has attracted additional attention from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, with the Daily Mail recently reporting that the 15-year-old has already received a five-year contract offer at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The talented teenager has also been invited to look around Ajax Amsterdam's training facilities as the Eredivisie champions prepare to entice the youngster to Holland. However, it's thought that Louis van Gaal has become increasingly keen to bring Odegaard to Old Trafford as well, fuelling recent rumours of an enquiry from the Red Devils.
But, the latest development in the ongoing transfer saga that surrounds the Norway international suggests that Manchester United's interest is yet to be made official, offering the growing list of rival Premier League suitors renewed optimism of negotiating a deal themselves.
Article continues below
"We have not received a bid from Manchester United for Odegaard, so once again this is just speculation," Flo is quoted by talkSPORT, telling TV2.
"It might have come through the mailbox, but it has certainly not reached me."
Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers will all still fancy their chances, as Odegaard is seemingly no closer to making a decision with regards to his next destination ahead of his birthday on December 17.
That day is crucial as it represents the first time the "mini Messi" can sign his first professional contract, which is why Stromsgodset have their hands tied when it comes to trying to keep him at the Marienlyst Stadion much longer.
Odegaard has already broken records as the youngest ever player and goalscorer in the Tippeligaen and appears set for a bright future in the game wherever he ends up.
With Old Trafford, the Emirates, Stamford Bridge and Anfield all possible options the Premier League could well be a realistic place for the precocious young talent to continue plying his trade, if he decides against transfers to Spain or Germany.