Man Utd keen on ‘new Martin Odegaard’ but 12 other clubs in the race for teenager | Football | Sport

And one of Ashworth’s first responsibilities could be to persuade Rosenborg midfielder Sverre Nypan to come to Manchester. According to HITC, the 17-year-old, who has played 23 times and scored five goals in the Eliteserien this season, has been made aware of the interest from the Premier League club.

Nepal, who made his first-team debut aged just 15, signed a new long-term deal with his club last summer that runs until the summer of 2026. But that simply appeared a shrewd move to ensure that Rosenborg can demand a fee for their prize asset, and allay the risk of him leaving on a free transfer.

And the playmaker has been widely likened to compatriot Martin Odegaard, who himself was just 16 when he left Stromsgodset for Real Madrid. He didn’t flourish as expected in Spain, but is now considered pivotal to Arsenal with the 25-year-old deployed as club captain under Mikel Arteta.

But the Red Devils are far from the only club to be linked. Premier League rivals Manchester City, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Brighton, Brentford and Nottingham Forest have also been touted to make a move having reportedly had representatives watch the player this past year.

It’s not just England clubs in the race though. Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, AS Monaco, Lyon, Benfica and FC Porto have also seemingly shown an interest, meaning Nypan could have the luxury of a dozen high-profile European clubs to choose from.

Nypan signed his first professional contract with Rosenborg in January 2022, making his debut later that year against Jery. That appearance saw him become the youngest ever player to appear in a professional league match in Norway.

Another record tumbled when he became the top-flight’s youngest goalscorer after striking against Bodo, aged 16 years and 145 days. His exploits duly earned him an improved deal before the 2023/24 campaign begun.

He has already represented Norway at Under-15 and 16 levels, and is viewed as a future star at senior international level in his homeland. Nypan would also be seen as a signing for the future by United, having been accused in recent years of targeting players who are beyond their peak.

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