Man United youth targeted in Real Madrid’s recruitment drive

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At first the rumours of Real Madrid coming to poach Premier League clubs’ best young talents were felt in Liverpool. Now, it’s Manchester United who fear a Spanish invasion.

Raheem Sterling has made the back pages for more than just his lethargy in recent weeks, with the Anfield livewire catching Los Blancos’ interest with his strong start to the season.

The Reds have moved to curb Madrid’s enthusiasm in the player though, by offering the 19-year-old a reported £100,000-per-week contract.

That’s forced the Spanish club to look elsewhere for a prospective new young signing and they haven’t travelled too far to find a replacement.

United’s own 19-year-old, Adnan Januzaj, is the man Madrid want to sign now, with the 23/20 La Liga hopefuls willing to offer as much as £23m to land the Belgian winger.

The new United number 11 hasn’t been too central to Louis van Gaal’s new dawn at Old Trafford, having failed to start a single game for the Dutchman since he took over from David Moyes.

An influx of attacking talent at the Theatre of Dreams has seen the former Anderlecht youth limited to just six substitutes’ appearances, causing Madrid to put the Brussels native in their transfer crosshairs.

The lure of playing for a Champions League winner and alongside some of the best players in world football is sure to appeal to Januzaj, although it can be argued that he is already doing that at United.

It’s difficult to see where the young forward would fit into a side that boasts the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale on its wings with burgeoning young talent like Isco in reserve.

Instead, it would make far more sense for Januzaj to stay put and establish himself among the United ranks, helping them to regain a place in the league’s top four, a feat priced up at 1/2 by Ladbrokes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.