Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly stepping up their interest in Anderlecht starlet Youri Tielemans, who has been linked with a slew of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United. Meanwhile, Felipe Anderson's agent claims the Lazio man hasn't received any offers from the Red Devils.
According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Spurs are preparing an offer worth £12 million with bonuses to land Tielemans, the 18-year-old midfielder who has long been touted as Belgium's latest top prospect.
Chelsea, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all reportedly scouted the Anderlecht star, as have United, per Goal's Romeo Agresti.
The youngster flashed his remarkable talent when he made his UEFA Champions League debut at the age of 16 and more than held his own against top competition, including Borussia Dortmund. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who was in charge of Die Schwarzgelben at the time, didn't hide his admiration:
Since then, Tielemans has become a key cog in Anderlecht's midfield, although his 2015-16 campaign hasn't been a rousing success. The Belgian club have struggled throughout the season, and Tielemans has failed to turn the tide―he has even been benched on several occasions.
His talent remains undeniable, however, and it's only natural for such a young player to struggle at times. Here's a look at some of his highlights:
Tielemans started his career as a holding midfielder, but he's been moved into a more attacking role in the last two seasons. He more than holds his own defensively, however, and might be at his best as a box-to-box player.
He's got remarkable passing range and impressive vision for a teenager, and his composure is what stands out the most. It's difficult to put pressure on Tielemans, as he always seems to find a way out of tricky situations.
Is Tielemans ready for a top club?
Tielemans has world-class potential, but he still has a long way to go to reach that status. Plenty of clubs will chase his signature this summer, but fans shouldn't expect him to make a huge immediate impact―patience will be key to his development.
He's yet to give any indication he wants to leave Belgium, however, and given the success Anderlecht have had developing youngsters with their Purple Talents program, Tielemans has every reason to stay in Belgium for the time being.
There's so much left for him to learn, and with Anderlecht, he's assured plenty of playing time. Don't expect Tielemans to leave his current club until he's ready, even if some of Europe's top teams will try their hardest to move during the summer.
Elsewhere, the agent of Lazio star Anderson has rubbished rumours United have agreed to a deal worth over £40 million for her client.
Speaking to LaLazioSiamoNoi (h/t Daily Express' James Gray), Juliana Gomes denied there have been any offers, saying: “I have nothing to say about this. We haven’t received any offers, there’s nothing. For anything else they should talk to us.”
The Brazilian forward was one of the top breakout performers in Serie A last season, and transfer rumours linking him with United have been a constant ever since, per Gray. Here's a look at some of his top highlights:
The 22-year-old is blessed with unreal speed and an impressive bag of tricks, and he combines the two well. He's a force in the open space and can do plenty of damage on the counter-attack, and he has a knack for scoring some spectacular goals as well.
But the Anderson you see in the highlight video has gone missing for large stretches of the 2015-16 campaign. Lazio haven't enjoyed a particularly good season, and Anderson's issues with consistency have been a big factor in that.
Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror has been thoroughly unimpressed with the Brazilian every time he has seen him play:
Only seen him play a few games but, especially today, it is hard to see how Felipe Anderson could be valued at €50million.— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) March 6, 2016
Anderson has impressive potential, but he's hardly a can't-miss prospect worth a fee in excess of £40 million. The rumours United were willing to go that high never made much sense to begin with, and while a deal is still very much possible, don't expect the Red Devils to offer quite so much money.