Adnan Januzaj Reportedly Eyed by Barcelona but New Manchester United Deal Close

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on September 28, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Barcelona are planning to lure Adnan Januzaj away from Manchester United if the youngster continues to reject his club's contract advances, according to Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail.

However, Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots expects the player to stay at Old Trafford, and Januzaj himself has stated his delight at how life is going at United.

Wheeler writes of Barca's interest:

Barca have tracked the teenager’s progress since before he joined United from Anderlecht in 2011. They are ever more confident that Januzaj will move to the Nou Camp when his deal runs out in eight months.

Januzaj has just eight months to run on his current deal and has caught the attention of Europe's elite clubs, following his stunning brace against Sunderland.

Dirk de Vriese, the youngster's agent, recently confirmed the growing interest in his player—per Wheeler's article, stating: "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."

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05:  David Moyes of Manchester United talks with Adnan Januzaj after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on October 5, 2013 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Barcelona are one of these clubs and have kept tabs on the youngster's progress for a number of years. They will hope negotiations continue to stall amid rumblings that Januzaj feels unappreciated since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

However, according to Sky Sports, Wilmots believes the player is close to signing a new contract at Old Trafford.

Januzaj recently spoke positively of his time at United, telling programme United Review in quotes reported by David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror:

I’m really enjoying myself. [...]

When you realise everyone is behind you at Old Trafford, it gives you the belief to play with the qualities I have.

It really helped having that support behind me because you get a feeling that everyone wants you to do well.

I want to play in as many games as I can and become the best payer I can possibly be. I know that I need to keep working hard every day to achieve that. I have to be ready, ready to take my chance.

Belgium head coach Wilmots selected Januzaj for forthcoming World Cup qualifiers with Croatia and Wales, although the offer was subsequently rejected.

The youngster can play for a whole host of nations, including Belgium, Turkey, Albania, Serbia and England, and his performance against Sunderland has intensified the scrap for his international allegiance.

Wilmots told John Edwards of the Daily Mail:

This was the first time I have tried to include him in a squad, because I wanted to send him a clear message. Unfortunately, I had a very quick response from England, when Manchester United called me to say the player felt he was not ready to make a choice about his international future.

It seems international teams will have to wait a while longer, as it's been suggested Januzaj is waiting to see if Kosovo will receive official recognition from FIFA. Born to Kosovar-Albanian parents, Mark Ogden previously wrote in The Telegraph that Kosovo or Albania may be his preferred choice.

The fact Wilmots believes a new deal is close will relieve Manchester United supporters, who will be desperate to avoid seeing another talented youngster prematurely depart their club.

Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison are two recent academy members who left Old Trafford unceremoniously only to begin blossoming elsewhere. 

If United can get Januzaj's new deal wrapped up, suppressing interest from Barcelona, it will provide both David Moyes and the club with a timely boost.