Manchester United scouting Swedish wonderkid Williot Swedberg, whose transfer collapsed due to Ukraine war

Manchester United have sent scouts to watch Swedish wonderkid Williot Swedberg in action, report Swedish newspaper Expressen.

Hammarby sporting director Jesper Jansson (pictured above) told the newspaper, “I think Williot feels quite calm.”

Asked whether the club would sell the youngster, he responded: “Absolutely. Something could happen, but we have no stress or need to sell. In a way, I think we can feel even greater peace.”

Barcelona also had scouts present to watch Swedberg, with the numerous scouts present described as ‘great interest’, by Jansson.

Who is Williot Swedberg?

Swedberg made his Hammarby debut last July in a 5-1 Allsvenkan win over Degefors. He was just 17 at the time.

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11 days later he featured in the Europa Conference League qualifiers as Hammarby beat Maribor 3-1.

Now 18, he has gone onto to make 13 first team appearances, including starting the last six games in a row in 2022.

Swedberg is listed as a midfielder but has played all six of his last games on the left wing for Hammarby in a 4-1-2-3 formation.

He has scored five goals in six games from the wing this season, adding to the one goal he scored in the Conference League as a substitute.

His recent goalscoring form has naturally attracted attention from top clubs including Manchester United. Swedberg is a Sweden under-19s international, with eight caps and one goal.

Swedberg has a contract until 2024, putting Hammarby under no pressure to sell, although as their sporting director suggests, they would find it tough to resist a good offer, which would likely be under £10 million.

Ukraine war cancelled transfer

Swedberg almost was not available. A deal had been agreed in February for Lokomotiv Moscow to sign the youngster for under £5 million, before the Ukraine war broke out.

Hammarby cancelled the deal once Russia invaded Ukraine, Aftonbladet reported, with Hammarby’s chairman Mattias Fri telling FotbollSkanalen: “We are all appalled by the development we are seeing now.”

He added Hammarby would not deal with Russian clubs, stating: “No, from a moral and human perspective we would not, but we seem in a larger context with regulations to relating to Uefa and more.”

The agreed deal would have seen Swedberg stay at Hammarby on loan and then join in the summer, but the Ukraine war cancelled the transfer. It highlights that a deal is there to be done, for other clubs this summer.

Swedberg said, maturely, via Dagens Nyheter: “It is not a pity about me, but about those who are involved in the war.”

With the Ukraine war still dragging on and Russian clubs banned from Europe next season, Swedberg had a fortunate escape.

Possible Rangnick tip-off?

It should be noted that Lokomotiv Moscow is Ralf Rangnick’s former club. In February, many of his former colleagues were still working there, including manager Markus Gisdol and Rangnick’s right-hand man Lars Kornetka.

Both stayed on rather than join United, but Gisdol resigned his post in March and the Aachner Zeitung report Kornetka will be reunited with Rangnick as his assistant in Austria.

If Williot Swedberg was not already on Rangnick’s list of recommended targets, it is highly probable that Lokomotiv’s near miss alerted him, and he has passed on the tip to Manchester United.

The teenager is the ideal age for United, who can no longer sign non-British players under 18, due to Brexit. Swedberg, 18, has already tasted first team football, and is now at the age where the Red Devils could sign him.

He would be the type of young, hungry, up and coming player who Rangnick would typically have signed for RB Leipzig.

Williot Swedberg is ‘incredible’

Swedish TV analyst Daniel Nannskog, a former striker for Malmö and Djurgården, raved about Swedberg earlier this summer.

He told SVT earlier this season: “It is an incredible talent that they (Hammarby) have. Fantastic ball player, goal scorer, assist guy. He has all the tools. The natural touch when he moves the ball. It is noticeable that he is properly well educated.”

Hammarby teammate Nahir Besara told Aftonbladet just last week: “He has all the talent in the world. It only applies to him to continue to be humble and continue in the same way.

“It is not if he is sold, but when he is sold. We get to enjoy as long as we have him in our team.”

At United he could follow in the footsteps of Swedish compatriots Jesper Blomqvist, Henrik Larsson, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Victor Lindelof and Anthony Elanga.

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