Manchester United linked with six of the world’s best youngsters

by Sam Peoples

Adnan Januzaj was named by Gazzetta Dello Sport as the world’s best Under-20s footballer this week, beating 49 others to the title, but there were a host of other youngsters on the list who Manchester United have been linked with in the past 12 months.

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United), dubbed the Scottish-Messi by the press, was linked strongly with Manchester United before signing a new deal to keep him with the Scottish club for the foreseeable future.

Carlos Mane (Sporting Lisbon) is somebody who Manchester United have watched in action plenty of times this season alongside team-mate William Carvalho.

He has only really burst onto the scene since the turn of the year but with match winning goals in back to back games this year for Sporting, his stock is rising.

Saul Niguez (Athletic Madrid/on loan at Rayo Vallecano) was watched by Phil Neville in January as part of Manchester United’s new approach to scouting some of Europe’s most talented youngsters. (pictured)

Having played at every level for Spain up to and including the Under-21s, Niguez is considered one of Spain’s most talented defensive prospects and on loan at Rayo Vallecano, he has made an impressive 28 La Liga appearances in both central defensive and central defensive midfield positions.

Aymeric Laporte (Atletico Madrid) is one of France’s finest youngsters and alongside Raphael Varane has been labelled as a key component for the future of French football.

Like most of Atletico’s players, he’ll have a hefty release clause and the Basque club would be tough to negotiate with.

Zakaria Bakkali (PSV Eindhoven) rejected a move to United in the summer. Will we try and sign him again this year?

Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg) admitted he was proud of United’s interest in him and with Nemanja Vidic’s confirmed departure expected to be followed by Rio Ferdinand’s exit, United will almost certainly be in the market for defensive reinforcements this year.

Manchester United’s Angelo Henriquez also earned himself a place on the list. The Chilean international is currently out on loan at Real Zaragoza but is expected to go on the pre-season tour this summer.

He started his loan spell very well in Spain but through injury, his progress has been curtailed but it hasn’t stopped him from claiming a place on the list.

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