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Man Utd and Man City show their hands in race for gifted teen

| 31.12.2014

Despite only turning 16 two weeks ago, Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard has taken up more gossip column inches than he has had fish dinners, but there may finally be some movement on the Stromsgodset midfielder’s future if recent reports are to be believed.

During the Tippeligaen close season, Odegaard’s travels around Europe have been a gift to headline writers, with reports that the youngster has already taken in the sights at Bayern Munich and Liverpool before heading 28 miles down the Mersey to Manchester.

However, although both Manchester United and Manchester City are said to have hosted him in recent days, neither are thought to be prominent in the hotshot’s future plans.

Bayern believe they are in pole position to land Odegaard, according to the Manchester Evening News, who also report that the biggest barrier to the teenager moving to Old Trafford is the fact that he is a Liverpool fan.

The same paper states that Norway’s youngest ever international is due back in his home country to play for Stromsgodset a couple of days into 2015, from where he will decide on his future.

Odegaard turned out 23 times in the 2014 Tippeligaen for his hometown club, scoring five goals and winning the division’s Young Player of the Year award as Stromsgodset finished creditably in fourth.

Rattling the onion bag isn’t really the attacking-midfielder’s shtick though; Odegaard’s remarkable close control and game management makes him more of a Luka Modric than a Luis Suarez.

He holds a number of appearance records, the most notable being the youngest player ever to play in a European Championship qualifier at the age of 15 years and 253 days, having come on as a substitute in Norway’s 2-1 September win over Bulgaria.

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Alex Fortune