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‘Number one alongside Haaland’: Man United’s £31m target is ‘incredibly talented’

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Erling Haaland is not the only ‘incredibly talented’ forward representing a bright future for the Norway national team with Manchester United target Antonio Nusa potentially joining the Man City star in the Premier League sooner rather than later.

While talks with Tottenham Hotspur did not end up in a January transfer – and while a £31 million move to Brentford collapsed due to injury – it still feels like a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ Antonio Nusa brings his twinkle-toed talents to English football.

In addition to the London duo, Manchester United have reportedly sent scouts to watch a player who has been labelled Norway’s answer to Neymar due to his mind-bending skills and Europe-leading dribbling ability.

The Red Devils are prioritising a right-winger this summer amid growing doubts over Antony, and Nusa is on the radar, alongside Michael Olise, Johan Bakayoko, Pedro Neto and co.

Club Brugge KV v RWDM Brussels FC - Jupiler Pro League

Photo by Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

Manchester United eye Antonio Nusa

But, after a flying start to his Club Brugge career, the time has come for the 18-year-old to show that he can deal with the odd ‘setback’. That is the word Club Brugge coach Ronny Deila uses to describe an injury that will extend Nusa’s time on the sidelines, having already missed a fortnight of action.

“He has had a troubled season. And it goes up and down for him all the time,” former Celtic boss Deila tells TV2, the teenager contending with injury issues and the collapse of a big-money transfer.

“I feel it is important to say that the image (of Nusa) in Belgium is quite the same as it is in Norway, that he is a ‘wonderkid’ who can handle anything. His highest level is incredibly high, but his lowest is still low. At the same time, he has had problems coping with the volume (of work) that comes with being a professional footballer at Club Brugge.

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“He (Nusa) has a long way to go.”

This is not to say Deila has any doubts about Nusa’s potential, however. The former Stabaek starlet has five goal contributions in just four Norway caps already, with Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard one of many blown away by his game-changing potential at such a young change. 

A replacement for Antony?

“A fantastic boy, a huge talent and I know he will be very, very good,” Deila adds. “He will return to the Norwegian national team and (be seen as the) number one alongside Haaland.

“(But) he is 18 years old. He is incredibly talented, but he needs time to reach his full potential.”

Nusa does fit the Ineos brief of young, hungry players with massive room to grow, though it appears that Manchester United’s new decision-makers would prefer to prioritise players with a proven track record in the Premier League.

Hence why Crystal Palace’s Olise and Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite appear to be emerging as leading targets for the right-wing and centre-back spots.

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