Meet the Dutch teen Man Utd hope to swoop on before Liverpool

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Louis van Gaal is well-known for his preference in working with youth, having ignited some of world football’s now stellar careers when first giving the likes of Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger a chance as youngsters.

That philosophy hasn’t wavered in his time at Manchester United either, with defenders Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett both enjoying a run in the first team in the early stages of the season and James Wilson also operating on the squad’s fringes.

It will come as no surprise to see a 19-year-old Dutchman heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils in the gossip columns of late then, as Van Gaal grows increasingly wary of missing out on the signature of Heerenveen midfielder Daley Sinkgraven.

The Assen native has been a key cog in De Superfriezen’s campaign so far, winning three man-of-the-match awards in his nine Eredivisie appearances, scoring two goals and laying on one assist.

So prominent have the youngster’s performances been, that United are not the only footballing super power keen to land his services.

Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all interested in striking a deal for Sinkgraven, interest that has caused Van Gaal to increase the number of scouting visits his talent spotters make to the Abe Lenstra Stadion.

So keen is the former World Cup bronze medal winner to land his man, that Van Gaal is reportedly considering making a bid for the player as early as January, although it’s thought any deal would allow Heerenveen to keep the midfielder until the end of next season in order to aid his development.

A dynamic central midfielder that is as proficient passing the ball as he is running with it, Sinkgraven would slot seamlessly into the diamond formation Van Gaal is currently operating at Old Trafford and is surely seen as a vital component in the club’s future.

The Red Devils are 4/6 shots to finish in the top four ahead of their game with Chelsea.

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.