Croatia have become the latest nation to declare an interest in Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj, following the revelation he is eligible for the Eastern European nation.
According to Sky Sports' Jure Bohoric, Croatian under-21 manager Ivo Susak told Sportske Novosti they had been made aware of Januzaj's eligibility and now planned to hold talks with the youngster.
Add Croatian to the list of countries Januzaj is affiliated with.http://t.co/QfRPG29lDq (I count 7 now)— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) October 10, 2013
Susak is quoted as saying by Bohoric:
One of the managers from Albania has told me that Adnan's mother is from Croatia so we are of course interested in him.
His potential is amazing but we know we are facing an uphill battle for him.
As for now he has no Croatian papers so this is an important issue. We are yet to speak with him but we are of course planing talks with this young player.
Having been somewhat unknown to many football fans prior to the start the season, Januzaj's two goals on his full senior debut for Manchester United last weekend have made him one of the week's biggest sports stories.
In the wake of his performance, England manager Roy Hodgson admitted on BBC's Match of the Day programme that the FA was keeping tabs on his progress with a view to possible future inclusion.
Those comments have since sparked days of debate in the English media about whether nationalised players should represent England or, indeed, what the required conditions should be.
Rooney's contribution to Januzaj debate a belter, mind. "He's a tremendous talent but is he from Belgium, or Croatia, or something?"— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) October 9, 2013
In the meantime, Belgium manager Marc Wilmots has made an attempt to include the 18-year-old in his senior squad for this week's international qualifiers, per The Guardian's Marcus Christenson.
Manchester United told Wilmots the playmaker was "not ready" to make a choice on his international future, while ESPNFC's Wim Van Walle reported last week that Januzaj's father has told the player to wait until he is a first-team regular before deciding where his international loyalty lies.
According to Bohoric's report, Croatia now join Belgium, Albania, Turkey, Serbia and even Kosovo as nations for which Januzaj is eligible to play international football.
Januzaj has been regarded as a special talent by United for some time, making the bench for Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge of the club last season.
Following an impressive preseason, in which he travelled with the first team to Asia and Australia, the attacking midfielder has been slowly eased into first-team activity—culminating in Saturday's start.
Following his dramatic introduction to Premier League life, however, he will now find himself no longer able to go quite so under the radar. The footballing world is now very much aware of Januzaj's potential, as confirmed by Croatia's interest.