Manchester United interested in Belgian youngster Aster Vranckz

As Manchester United continue to scour Europe for the continent’s finest talents, they are taking particular interest in one Belgian youngster.

Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws (h/t Sport Witness) report that United are one club who are ‘especially’ interested in Aster Vranckz.

The 17-year-old is a midfielder for KV Mechelen, a Belgian Pro League side recently promoted as champions from the Second Division.

Manchester United scouting Aster Vranckz

Vranckz has recently broken into the first team at KV Mechelen. He made his debut in the Belgian Super Cup back in July when his team lost 3-0 to K.R.C Genk. He was only 16 at that point.

HLN are quick to point out that any transfer for Vranckz is unlikely for now. The main reason is that Vranckz sees the Belgian league as the best place for his development. First team opportunities have already presented themselves and will continue to do so. Teams like United in the Premier League are unlikely to give him much first team football.

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Mechelen, meanwhile, would hold for significant money for their best talent, especially after securing their position in the Pro League.

United continuing aggressive youth recruitment drive

United have been proactive in the transfer market when it comes to young players. There have been the signings of James and Wan-Bissaka at first team level but things are different in the academy.

Nicky Butt and his staff have been vigorous and ruthless in their pursuit of Europe’s best talents.

Hannibal Mejbri arrived from AS Monaco for £9.3million in the summer. He’s a 16-year-old midfielder who has excited many at United. Dillon Hoogerwerf came from Ajax for an undisclosed fee.

In recent years, Tahith Chong signed from Feyenoord, Lukasz Bejger from Poland, Matej Kovar arrived in goal, Arnau Puigmal from Espanyol and so many more. United’s academy is now a fine balance between Mancunian kids and the best talents of Germany, France (Aliou Traore, Mejbri and Noam Emeran) and Spain, and perhaps Belgium too.

Dillon Hoogerwerf came from Ajax for an undisclosed fee. In recent years, Tahith Chong signed from Feyenoord, Lukasz Bejger from Poland, Matej Kovar arrived in goal, Arnau Puigmal from Espanyol and so many more. United’s academy is now a fine balance between Mancunian kids and the best talents of Germany, France (Aliou Traore, Mejbri and Noam Emeran) and Spain, and perhaps Belgium too.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Mejbri signing could pave way for Vranckz to join United

The signing of Mejbri is a particularly interesting one to consider in the news about Aster Vranckz. The Reds splashed €10m splashed on the Frenchman. It’s a sign that United are willing to pay big money for teenagers before they become established first team players. Vranckz has played three times in the Belgian Pro League now. A move next summer would allow United to shape his development.

Signing young players before they’ve truly proved themselves is always a risky move. But it can save tens of millions and ensure they are committed to the club for many years.

Keep an eye for the name of Aster Vranckz and his links to Manchester United.

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Life-long Manchester United fan with a strong interest in the club's academy. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. First game at Old Trafford was the 7-1 rout of AS Roma in 2007.