Manchester United’s pursuit of top young talents from around the world is continuing.

One of the latest players to be linked is Austrian whizkid Yusuf Demir.

Newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports United are one of the top European clubs tracking Demir, along with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Here is a look at what we can tell you about Demir…

1) Demir, 17, is already starring for Rapid Vienna. The 17-year-old has 23 first team appearances including four goals and three assists.

Arsenal FC v Rapid Wien: Group B - UEFA Europa League
(Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

2) For Austria’s under-17 and under-15 teams, he scored 19 goals in 22 international matches.

3) Despite his dazzling international scoring record, Demir is not strictly a striker. He plays as for Rapid Vienna as an attacking midfielder, and has featured on both wings too. He has been nicknamed the ‘Austrian Messi’.

4) Demir has already scored in the Europa League. He netted in the group stages this season against Dundalk.

 

5) Demir made his Rapid Vienna debut in 2019 at just 16. He turns 18 in June.

What he says…

Demir has high hopes. He told Transfermarkt he aims to one day win world football’s top individual prize: “I have goals, such as winning as many titles as possible or even the Champions League. Personally, ever since I was a little kid, I have had the dream of one day winning the Ballon d’Or.”

He also cites Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi among his idols, but says he wants to carve his own path. He said: “I watched a lot of the two and they shaped my youth.”

Could a move happen?

Brexit rules mean United can no longer sign non UK players under 18. This may count against a move happening this January.

United could choose to strike a pre-agreement, but it is more likely that any pursuit would kick on in the summer once Demir is 18.

FBL-EUR-C3-VIENNA-DUNDALK
(Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

At present Kronen Zeitung‘s report suggests Barcelona are frontrunners, and his idols being Messi and Ronaldinho helps their case.

Demir’s contract runs until 2022, meaning Rapid Vienna will have to be thinking about cashing in.

It is good to see United are continuing to monitor top young talents, and at present, Demir would probably be a very low cost investment to make.

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