"The European champions have added the young Belgian to their summer shopping list but United insist the 19-year-old is not for sale at any price after signing him to a long-term contract last winter," reads the article.
The Mirror cited Marca and Spanish publication AS cited The Mirror when dishing out potential transfer sums for the youngster, who was a surprise inclusion in Marc Wilmots' World Cup squad. Ben Burrows of the English tabloid wrote:
Spanish newspaper Marca report that Real Madrid are keen on Adnan Januzaj and are prepared to spend big to get him.
[...] Such is their admiration for the fleet-footed winger they could offer as much as £33m for him, the paper report.
Manolete of AS (in Spanish) called upon the Mirror for inspiration, saying, "The Mirror place Adnan Januzaj in the orbit of Real Madrid," translated by 101 Great Goals. A fee of €41 million is mentioned, while it is acknowledged "the problem now is that [Louis] van Gaal considers [Januzaj] a cornerstone of his project at United."
The leading source for this roundabout story may be difficult to fully pinpoint, but the message is the same. United aren't willing to consider selling a player who broke into the first team under David Moyes, perhaps the singular bright spot of a reign that was otherwise dominated by disappointment.
Januzaj provided the Scottish boss a glimmer of excitement, a sign that things could get better, but his introduction wasn't enough to save a tenure that quickly became doomed with a lack of signings and negative tactical output. Heading into his second season as a United regular, Januzaj is expected to push on under Van Gaal, a notorious lover of utilising youth.
The youngster is yet to make his debut for Belgium after inexplicably having his first appearance wiped due to Marc Wilmots accidentally using too many players against Luxembourg, as reported by BBC Sport. He is expected to play a bit-part role at the World Cup, where he wasn't called upon when Belgium needed to come from behind to beat Algeria 2-1 on Tuesday.
Even so, Januzaj became a regular fixture of the United team during the 2013-14 campaign. He scored four goals and provided three assists during 15 starts and 12 substitute appearances in the Premier League, per WhoScored.com. The pick of his performances came away at Sunderland, where he netted two excellent goals to secure an early season win for the side who would struggle all year.
United's real ace in the situation stems from the club getting Januzaj to sign a new five-year contract in October, as reported by the club's official site. This saw off interest from Paris Saint-Germain, noted by Kristof Terreur of Sky Sports, and it saved United from watching their emerging star leave in search of more immediate team success.
Januzaj said United are "the right club for me" upon signing, per the club's report. He may be pleased to see the side linked with a move for Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, his international teammate, as reported by Matt Law of the Telegraph.
Kevin Palmer of the Sunday World believes the Gunners captain could prove to be a useful signing for the Red Devils:
United fans will be pleased to hear Januzaj's future is protected, but when Madrid lurk, the situation usually only ever goes one way. Florentino Perez is not the kind of man who easily gives up on targets—even if it takes years to land them—as we saw with his pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, and to some extent, Gareth Bale.
It's likely the Spanish side's president will launch another attempt to land Januzaj somewhere down the line, if Madrid's interest is to be proven concrete. For now, United fans can take comfort in the player's decision to sign a long-term deal during the opening stages of last season.
Januzaj has the natural ability to become a world-renowned asset at the Theatre of Dreams. Much is expected of the starlet whose dribbling skill and turn of pace already offers major firepower to club and country. Van Gaal is the right man to keep him developing, suggesting United supporters can expect more in the coming year.
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