The agent of Genoa starlet Pietro Pellegri has denied rumours he's been in contact with clubs and likened his client to Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, amid reported interest from the Red Devils.
Italian outlet Calciomercato (h/t the Mirror) have linked the 16-year-old with top Serie A clubs and Premier League sides since his two-goal performance against Lazio in September and now claim both Milan and Juventus have "confirmed talks with the player's entourage," although they don't mention whether those contacts came recently.
Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta previously admitted to talking to the player two years ago, per Premium Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com).
Speaking to Footmercato (via Calciomercato), the player's representative, Beppe Riso, clarified there have not been any recent talks:
“I am not in contact with any club at the moment.
“He is a very powerful striker, he is similar to Ibrahimovic, he is definitely one of the best young players in Europe. He has already netted a brace in Serie A and is only 16-year-old. He has three years left in his contract with Genoa and it's not a surprise for me to see him linked with big clubs like PSG.”
According to Il Secolo XIX (via TalkSport), Paris Saint-Germain have joined the long list of clubs credited with an interest in the teenager.
Pellegri has long been regarded as one of the best prospects in the Italian youth system, with periodic links with Juventus and Milan surfacing last season. The Italian gossip pages went into overdrive following his showing against Lazio, however, dragging England's top clubs into the mix.
Here's a look at some of his highlights:
The Genoa youngster is blessed with remarkable strength and athleticism for a player his age and has an excellent scoring record in the youth leagues. The fact he's already finding success on the senior level is even more promising and explains why Genoa have supposedly set an asking price of €40 million.
Even that may not be enough to land the forward, however, as Pellegri has a very close bond with the club. His father, Marco Pellegri, is an assistant with the Grifone, as well as a lifelong fan.
Per the Guardian's Paolo Bandini, the budding star is also a fan of Genoa. His love for the club, combined with the opportunities he's already getting, will make it hard to prise him out of Genoa.
A deal in which the player remains with the Grifone on loan for the foreseeable future seems the most likely outcome right now and would likely be best for all involved. While he's talented, he's also still very raw―he needs consistent minutes to get better and is not yet ready to contribute for a top club.