Connect with us


Man United join Chelsea and Barcelona in race for Croatian wonderkid



| Last Updated:


Credit: IMAGO / Pixsell

Manchester United are among a host of top-level European clubs, including Chelsea and Barcelona, interested in signing Croatian teenage sensation Dino Klapija.

The 16-year-old began his career at New York City’s academy as a central midfielder, however, he moved to Dinamo Zagreb in March this year.

It was expected that he would sign a professional deal with the Croatian outfit but Klapija would go and move to Kustosija last month, where he has been training with the club’s first team.

Both this and his performances for his club and country at U17s level has caught the eye of several top-level European clubs, including United.

That is according to information from Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, who says that Chelsea, RB Leipzig, Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus are among the other clubs who have expressed their desire to buy the teenager.

It was added that some of the teams interested are willing to offer over £5 million for the forward, with Leipzig, who are expected to bid, regarded as favourites.

United, however, have not been shy in pursuing top-level talent in that age bracket in recent years. Gabriele Biancheri, also a striker, joined from Cardiff City earlier this year, whilst the likes of Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez were picked up at a similar age in the summer of 2020.

The Reds have also managed to secure the future of superbly talented midfielder Shea Lacey, who has signed a scholarship deal with an agreement in principle to sign professional terms when he turns 17 in April next year, according to Rich Fay of the Manchester Evening News.

That report added that manager Erik ten Hag has already held one-to-one meetings with a number of youngsters, including Lacey, in which he outlined what he expected from them if they were to ever have the chance of making it under him.

Speaking during pre-season, the Dutchman outlined the importance of the academy talent at Old Trafford.

“This is their moment,” the boss told MUTV. “We have to improve the squad and you can do that with transfers but also players across the academy. Man United is famous about it – bringing young kids to above, to play in the first-team.”

“Last year, Garnacho, he made it. I always hope for a minimum of one player to come into our squad and make minutes and even compete for starting XI position.”