Manchester United Transfers: 6 Teenage Stars Red Devils Could Sign
Though Manchester United have always boasted one of the finest youth academies in world football, the club is always on the lookout for burgeoning young talent from elsewhere.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been key to the Red Devils' desire to bring in players with potential and nurture them at Carrington with the United training staff.
Last summer, Robin van Persie's arrival at Old Trafford stole the majority of the media spotlight, but the signing of teenage striker Angelo Henriquez provided a sturdy foundation for the side long into the future.
Here are six teenage talents from across the globe who United reportedly have their eye on.
The signing of any of the players from this list will stand the club in good stead for years to come.
Image via 101greatgoals.com
Atletico Madrid's David Gil may not have yet made much of an impact for his current club, but that hasn't stopped Manchester United scouts from noticing his evident potential.
In January, The Mirror reported that "United scout Martin Ferguson has been tracking him" with a view to a future bid.
Around the same time, The Sun claimed "United are eyeing up an £8 million bid" for the Spanish keeper.
Though there has been little in the way of follow-up stories since the new year, Gil could well be snapped up this summer, joining the likes of fellow keepers Ben Amos and Sam Johnstone in the United setup.
The shot-stopper has impressed recently when playing for the Spain U20 international side.
Image via www.footie.co.za
Earlier this month, Portuguese newspaper Record reported that the Red Devils were keeping tabs on Sporting Lisbon youngster Eric Dier (h/t Soccer News).
It is claimed that "Manchester United scouts watched the England Under-19 defender as he starred in Sporting’s 2-1 win over Academica."
Dier has been with the Portuguese side since signing his first professional contract in 2010, though spent part of last season on loan at Everton.
Despite not making any Premier League appearances with the Toffees, the 19-year-old has since broken into the Sporting first XI and is a regular at England U19 level.
A tall, physical player, the versatile Dier is also adept playing in defensive midfield.
At 16 years of age and standing 5'7" tall, you could be forgiven for thinking that Alen Halilovic looked slightly out of place on the football field.
He is the youngest player to have appeared for current club Dinamo Zagreb both domestically and in Champions League competition, and has already scored two goals in the Prva HNL.
In December last year, the Daily Mail reported that "Manchester United chief executive David Gill flew to Croatia on Tuesday for talks about signing Dinamo Zagreb’s £15 million-rated teenage sensation Alen Halilovic."
A nimble, tricky attacking midfielder, the Croatian teen has been compared by some to a young Lionel Messi.
For a full scouting report on the player, click here.
Image via www.theelastico.com
The aptly named Kurt Zouma has been touted as a possible star by many scouts in football since making his first team debut for Saint-Etienne aged only 17.
The French centre-back has made over 30 Ligue 1 appearances for the historic club, as well as playing at international level for the U16, U17 and U19 sides.
Zouma is a naturally athletic player who is usually reliable when tackling on the ground and competing for aerial balls.
In January, the Daily Mail reported that Sir Alex is "keeping a close eye on St Etienne's Zouma, 18, a player tipped to be one of his country's best."
With Ezequiel Garay also linked with a move to Old Trafford, rumours are hotting up regarding whether or not the Scotsman is currently in the market for another central defender (via Daily Mail).
Image via www.psg.fr
Paris Saint-Germain's 17-year-old striker Hervin Ongenda is another relatively unknown name linked with a possible move to Old Trafford.
The pacy forward has impressed for the French side's U19 team this season, and has caught the eye of Manchester United scouts.
The Frenchman has already made an appearance for the PSG first team in a cup clash this term, and could be set for further games later this year.
Equally capable of playing in attacking midfield and on the wings, he is an exceptionally skillful player for his tender age.
Image via themirror.co.uk
With Neymar set to leave Santos for greener pastures in the near future, the Brazilian club seems to have a ready-made replacement in waiting.
The 19-year-old Neilton is a quick, tricky forward who not only looks like his contemporary, but plays like him too.
In January, he scored an eye-catching hat-trick in an U19 game against Palmeiras, alerting the biggest clubs in football to his talent.
The Mirror reported last month that Neilton has a £5 million buy-out clause in his contract, and that Chelsea and Manchester United were prepared to pounce.
For video of the boy in action, click here.
Which other teenage talents in world football could the Red Devils sign? Adryan? Will Hughes?