Manchester United are in danger of losing out to fierce rivals Liverpool in the race for Norway wonderkid Martin Odegaard - with Merseyside scouts having watched the 15-year-old with a view to making a formal offer to the teenager’s current club, Stromsgodset, in January.
This is according to the Metro, who claim that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has received positive feedback after sending his senior scouts to run the rule over Odegaard during this week’s match between Norway’s Under-21 side and their Portuguese counterparts.
Odegaard reportedly produced a Man of the Match display - and this has convinced Liverpool to push on with plans to make an offer when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year.
Liverpool have edge over United
It’s currently unclear whether United are planning something similar. The Red Devils were strongly linked with Odegaard last month, while later reports claimed that the Premier League giants were lining up a late move on Monday, the final day of the transfer window.
But Liverpool appear to have the edge over United in the race for Odegaard for one important reason: the player is, according to the Metro, a huge fan of the Anfield club.
Odegaard is widely considered one of the most promising teenagers in world football and became Norway’s youngest ever international footballer last week. The attacking midfielder did not look overawed against the United Arab Emirates, but was not involved in his country’s next international friendly against England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night.
Compared to Ronaldo and Messi
His immense talent has led to him being nicknamed both the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’ and the ‘new Lionel Messi’.
His style of play most resembles the Barcelona and Argentina star, however. Odegaard is a technically-gifted left-footed footballer, equipped with pace, vision and fabulous close control.
The player has previously trained with both Manchester United and Bayern Munich - and impressed coaches at both clubs with his tremendous ability.
In many ways, he resembles one of United’s current young stars: Adnan Januzaj. Blessed with the same low centre of gravity and equipped with a similarly lethal left foot, it’s believed that Odegaard possesses all of the tools to make it to the very top.
Should he join United or Liverpool?
Rodgers has an excellent track record of helping youngsters fulfil their talent, such as Raheem Sterling, who is still only 19-years-old but is already one of the best players in the Premier League.
But Louis van Gaal also has a reputation for bringing youngsters through and helping them to realise their potential. The veteran Dutch coach was partly responsible for launching the careers of Xavi and Andres Iniesta while managing Barcelona over a decade ago.
Which club, given the choice, should Odegaard join: Liverpool or Manchester United?
Have your say in the comments section below.