Manchester United lead race for Anderlecht star Youri Tielemans

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A third party representative from Manchester United held talks with Anderlecht officials over a potential transfer for Belgium wonderkid Youri Tielemans, according to Goal.

The initial talks were believed to have been held in London and have placed the Red Devils firmly ahead of Premier League rivals Chelsea, who are also interested in the 18-year-old.

Tielemans has emerged as one of the brightest young stars in European football after breaking into Anderlecht's first team whilst still studying at school as a 16-year-old.


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Not only is he already an established midfielder in the Anderlecht setup, but he has also won Belgium's young player of the season award in each of the last two campaigns.

With his stock growing in every match, the Belgium outfit are expected to cash in next summer and seem to be trying to spark a bidding war by holding talks with interested parties.

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Bidding war

After seeing Manchester United pay £36million to sign Anthony Martial in the summer, Anderlecht will be hoping to inspire a bid from Old Trafford's wacky transfer chief Ed Woodward.

Louis van Gaal has shown a willingness to give exciting youth prospects a chance, already gifting important roles to Luke Shaw, Memphis Depay and the aforementioned Martial.

In comparison, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has infamously struggled to integrate youngsters into his line-up, instead opting to loan out huge swathes of prospects to clubs across Europe. That could work against them in this transfer chase.

Carrick replacement

As a tough-tackling midfielder, Tielemans has been cited as a potential long-term replacement to Michael Carrick. The 34-year-old is still an important figure at Old Trafford but has struggled with fitness issues over the last 12 months and may struggle to earn a new contract next summer.

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