Manchester United are ramping up their efforts to keep teenage superstar Adnan Januzaj at the club, with senior Old Trafford officials concerned he could leave the Premier League, The Sweeper can reveal.
But senior figures at the club are privately hurrying their efforts to convince the attacker to stay, preparing an unprecedented salary package for a player of his age and experience, with fears growing that the youngster's agent, Dirk de Vriese, could approach rival clubs for talks regarding his availability.
A source told Goal: "The club have strict parameters about the type of wages they're prepared to offer young players, but there is a growing acceptance they will have to break with convention if they are to prevent Januzaj from leaving."
United have approached Januzaj's parents, who were present for the club's Senior Cup tie with Bolton on Monday, for informal talks over the 18-year-old's future and made clear that he is very highly thought of at Old Trafford.
The club are concerned about potentially losing Januzaj to another European giant, with both Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique having left the club at a young age in recent years.
United are also looking to support the youngster as he decides who to commit his international future to, having been born in Belgium to Kosovar Albanian parents.
De Vriese has admitted that a number of clubs are monitoring his client's situation, with the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson having stalled negotiations with the club in the summer.
"I’m not going to say which teams are interested in him, but I can tell you that there is interest from several European clubs," he told Voetbal News.
"The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson meant that there was a break in the negotiations. We are back working on the calls and will see how it goes.
"Adnan’s family have given me the permission to communicate. As it is only me involved, there can be no misunderstandings in the media."
- Paul Clennam
HUGHTON TOLD TO GET MORE GOALS
Chris Hughton earned himself more time at Carrow Road with victory over Stoke City last time out, but he has been told to make better use of the attacking talents he has at his disposal.
Norwich signed Gary Hooper, Leroy Fer, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Johan Elmander and Nathan Redmond in the summer, but have scored just four goals in six matches, and just two since the opening day.
Hughton would have been sacked had he presided over defeat at the Britannia Stadium, but was saved by Johnny Howson's strike - their first away goal of the season.
The club's hierarchy have now made clear to the former Newcastle boss that they expect an improved showing in front of goal in the coming weeks. Next up: Chelsea on Sunday.
- Wayne Veysey