Manchester United are struggling to agree new terms with youngster Adnan Januzaj, with his representatives reportedly demanding a £100,000 signing-on fee, according to the Daily Star's Paul Hetherington.
Securing Januzaj, 18, to a new deal has become an evermore pressing matter in recent weeks, with the attacking midfielder making a significant impact during his early Premier League outings.
Per Hetherington's report, though, negotiations are not quite progressing as hoped:
Adnan Januzaj's representatives want a £100,000 signing-on fee as part of a new £20k-a-week-plus deal for the Manchester United starlet.
But United want to increase the winger’s basic pay to £15k a week from £2.5k and are reluctant to also pay a six-figure signing fee for a player who is already at the club.
It means there are tough negotiations ahead for United’s new chief executive Ed Woodward in the coming weeks as the club fights to keep Januzaj.
In recent days, the club's urgency has increased following warnings from Serie A side Juventus that they are considering a move for Januzaj, per Sky Sports' Simone Bargellini. Juventus also recruited France midfielder Paul Pogba from the Red Devils on a free transfer last summer.
Juve's Marotta on Januzaj:"It's hard to understand who they could have arrived to 8 months before contract expires without a renewal"— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) October 10, 2013
Given Januzaj's initial impact at first-team level, David Moyes and his staff will be keen to ensure the Italian giants do not repeat their trick next summer, when the young Belgian's current deal is due to expire, per Andy Dunn of the Daily Mirror.
Since scoring a brace against Sunderland on his full Premier League debut ahead of the international break, the attacking midfielder has been one of the biggest talking points in world football.
Whether it be regarding his ongoing contract negotiations or his international future, the teenager is very much one of English football's most intriguing prospects—despite his relative inexperience.
There is something very enjoyable about watching Januzaj play, with his combination of ambition and technique ensuring supporters are holding their breath each time he receives the ball.
While emerging young players are often bold upon their initial emergence at first-team level, there is an elegance and intelligence to Januzaj's play that separates him from many others of his age.
United's new leadership came in for much criticism over the summer for their lack of action in the transfer market, and the emergence of a new young star has undoubtedly taken pressure off both Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward.
A £100,000 signing on fee for Januzaj (if that's the demand) is not that much. Young earns that in a week.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) October 13, 2013
Should they fail to tie Januzaj down to a new deal, though, criticism of the club's hierarchy will increase considerably. For the sake of £100,000—an amount that some of the club's under-performing stars earn in under a fortnight—it would be illogical not to keep the Belgian at this point.
Considering his potential future worth, it is surely the club's only option at a time when the Red Devils' management are not in the position of strength that Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill occupied during the Pogba saga.
The demands may seem a lot for an 18-year-old of such little experience, but they are not excessive in the current market, where young talents are heavily sought by Europe's elite.