Manchester United have emerged as the frontrunners for FC Basel wonderkid Breel Embolo after Jose Mourinho made it clear he was desperate to bring him to Old Trafford.
The is according to Bild, who have taken reports of Manchester United's interest in the 19-year-old to another level after they were tentatively linked last week.
Indeed, two publications – 20 Minutes (Switzerland) & Leipziger Volkszeitung (Germany) – both claimed that the Red Devils have told Basel they were willing to pay over the odds to sign Embolo.
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Up until Manchester United's apparent interest, German club RB Leipzig, who will compete in the Bundesliga for the first time in their history next season, were frontrunners.
However, even with the multi-billion pound company Red Bull behind them, RB Leipzig can not compete with the lure of Old Trafford. Indeed, Manchester United have gazumped their offer of €20m, promising to pay as much as €35m to the Swiss club.
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On top of that, Embolo will be offered a contract worth €5m-a-season, which is more than double what was apparently on the table from RB Leipzig (€2m-a-season). Needless to say, Bild are certain that Embolo is now heading to Manchester.
If he does sign, he will form another part of Mourinho's plan to pack Manchester United full of Europe's best young players. He already has Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in his ranks and also blew £30m of his budget to sign Villarreal defender Eric Bailly.
Embolo would come as something of a raw talent but is widely considered to be one of the hottest prospects the European game has to offer. He is already a senior international with the Switzerland side and has played a role in both of their Euro 2016 games.
Although he made his first-team debut in 2014, Embolo really burst onto the scene in the most recent campaign, becoming a firm first-team regular for FC Basel. In 27 Swiss Super League appearances, he scored 10 goals while he also scored one in the Champions League and a further two in the Europa League.
With exceptional pace, strength and an enviable work rate, the left-sided forward cuts a similar figure to that of Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez. With 31 goals and 22 assists in 90 matches for Basel, he has certainly proved adept at creating goals for himself and others, just as Sanchez does for Arsenal.
The Shaqiri trend
Comparisons with Xherdan Shaqiri will certainly come as a warning to Embolo. The winger was tipped for great things when he left Basel for Bayern Munich but now finds himself at Stoke City.
While Shaqiri is certainly a good player and worthy of his place in the Swiss national squad, Embolo is expected to go one better and become a world-class performer.
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