Reports: Barcelona set to pry away Manchester United wonderkid
What's the story?
While it's usually Barcelona's in-house talents of La Masia who get scouted by clubs all across the world and sometimes make a move - like how Gerard Pique got hoovered up by Manchester United and Francesc Fabregas by Arsenal - but in an interesting turn of events, Barcelona are said to be looking seriously at Manchester United's academy as per the good folk at the Express
The center of their attention is the man who became the first player to be born in the 2000s to ever play in the Premier League (and the youngest to represent United since the late great Duncan Edwards) when he replaced Wayne Rooney against Crystal Palace on the last day of the previous season - Angel Gomes.
Gomes, the reports claim, is currently stalling on a deal and considering his contract runs out at the end of the season, Barcelona are very interested in snapping up the highly-rated youngster.
In case you didn't know
Gomes has starred through the time he's spent at United's academy, having joined them aged 6. In 2016, he became the third youngest ever player to score a hattrick for the United youth team, and in that same year, he became the youngest-ever recipient of the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year award in May, having scored 12 goals in 19 starts for the under-18s.
Gomes has represented England through various age-groups; he will be England's star turn in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India.
The heart of the matter
The United board will certainly not want a repeat of the breakdown in relations which caused Paul Pogba leave the club on a free transfer back in 2012. In a bid to convince him that he's closer to first-team action than he previously thought, United included him in their League Cup squad for the match against Burton - though he didn't play in United's comfortable win.
Watching just a few minutes of Angel Gomes in action will tell you just why Barcelona are so desperate to sign him up:
The lad can play, can't he?
A tricky, silky, attacking midfielder, Gomes is a bonafide superstar-in-the-making who will surely star for United, or if he moves to Barca, for the Catalans in the future - his technical ability is almost unparalleled in his age group while his big game temperament and calm intelligence earned him high praise from fellow Academy graduate Danny Webber - "Gomes is still very small, but he sees the game seconds before others. Angel is like Paul Scholes; he can dictate a game with his intelligence."
United will want to make sure this one doesn't get away!