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Next Ibrahimovic deliberating between English and Italian clubs

| 09.01.2014

There are a handful of players that, for a young pretender, being dubbed as the next version of is an extremely daunting moniker.

For Valmir Berisha, the 17-year-old Swedish striker, living up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career is about as knee-trembling as they come.

The Halmstads player has attracted interest from some of the continent’s most glamorous clubs, although it hasn’t been while wearing the strip of his employers.

Instead, his exploits for the Swedish U-17 side during the U-17 World Cup have alerted the senses of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Sunderland’s respective transfer sniffer dogs.

In addition to those five Premier League sides, Berisha’s play has also alerted Celtic, Inter Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla, according to Sky Sports.

However, two of those clubs have seemingly won the race to the youngster’s heart above all others with the player himself revealing he is in negotiations with a side from England and another from Italy.

Having never played a senior game for his current employer, Berisha clearly feels he is ready for first-team action.

He said: “I am negotiating with two clubs right now, but I have not decided which of them it will be. I will probably do that in a week’s time. I am really keen to play now and want it to be sealed soon.”

The links with Sweden’s iconic pony-tailed striker started early on as both Berisha, who was born in Kosovo, and Ibrahimovic, whose mother is Croatian and father Bosnian, share eastern European heritage.

The symmetry spilled onto the pitch too when one of Berisha’s competition-leading seven goals at the U-17 World Cup came via an audacious back heel.

In the current campaign, the young, Halmstads man has 16 goals and seven assists in the domestic U-19 competition from a mere 20 starts.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.