Premier League clubs very often use Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy to identify young talent that doesn’t have enough to cut it in the first-team.
Hector Bellerin, Bojan Krkic and Gerard Deulofeu, of Arsenal, Stoke and Everton, are just three Premier League players who began their careers at Barcelona. Look across Europe and you will find plenty more - Thiago Alcantara at Bayern Munich, for example.
Teams are often swayed by La Masia’s appeal. The academy produced Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, after all.
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So rest assured Premier League clubs are sending scouts to attend Barcelona’s youth matches, across all ages, in an attempt to find the one player that slips through the cracks.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Manchester United did just that with 16-year-old Abel Ruiz.
The teenager is a highly-rated striker who was included in Spain’s squad at this year’s UEFA Under-17 tournament.
Sport - in a report relayed by the Manchester Evening News - claim that United were interested in Ruiz but Barcelona managed to fend them off, convincing the attacker to sign a new contract with the Spanish giants.
Here's what Ruiz can do
Apparently Barcelona see him as a star of the future. And if these highlights are anything to go by, they might just be right.
In more United transfer news, Jose Mourinho is reportedly willing to wait until transfer deadline day to make a move for Southampton’s Jose Fonte.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils are not exactly desperate to land the defender - Eric Bailly and Daley Blind have impressed in the opening games of the season, while Chris Smalling is back from injury - and will let Southampton dictate negotiations.
If the Saints lower their £8 million valuation then Mourinho could make a move. If not, the United boss will stick with what he has.