The Guardian are reporting that Manchester United are close to tying 18-year-old Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj to a new long-term contract at the Old Trafford club. Januzaj was linked to Barcelona at the start of the summer, after United signed the player ahead from them from Anderlecht on two-years ago. The young Belgian was added to the United first team for the final match of last season against West Bromwich Albion, but due to the scoreline of the match, he did not get any game time. However he was given the chance to impress during this summers pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, and impress is what he did.

Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson described Januzaj as “one of the most promising talents” to come through the club’s youth team. Januzaj made his debut for United after replacing Robin van Persie seven minutes from the end of the match. United were 2-0 up against Wigan Athletic but the young Belgian still came on and showed us just how thirsty he is to break into the first team. He will most likely be part of David Moyes’ squad for the Barclays Premier League champions for the trip to the Liberty Stadium when United take on Swansea on Saturday evening.

United seem to have learnt from the past when talented player like Paul Pogba left the club after not being given a chance, which is something I personally regret as the French midfielder has developed into the kind of player United could do with right now. Like Januzaj, Pogba was highly rated by the club coaching staff, but the club only offered him a small salary, which resulted in the player leaving to sign for Juventus.

Talks on a new contract for Januzaj have already taken place and reports suggest that an agreement is not that far off. It will be a boost for United supporters this summer, as incoming transfers bolstering the squad seem to not be happening, although the manager has suggested that he was close to signing players after the FA Community Shield on Sunday. Time will tell I guess.

Januzaj looks certain to have a great future ahead of him. He is an attacking, left-footed wide player and lead the line for Warren Joyce’s U21 side last season, which resulted in them making the final of the Barclays U21 Premier League at Old Trafford, beating favourites Tottenham Hotspur. United have always been a club that likes to nurture youth talent and turn them into stars. I think Januzaj is another player that will be attracting the attention of the world within a few years. I would like to see him bulk up a little, but it will happen over time. Januzaj is on reason I have been looking forward to the coming season.

By Paul Bienkowski

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