BARCELONA

Yusuf Demir: Barcelona move to snap up "Austrian Messi"

According to Kronen Zeitung, Barcelona scouts have been keeping tabs on 17-year-old Yusuf Demir for a long time and could move this summer.

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Yusuf Demir: Barcelona move to snap up "Austrian Messi"
GEORG HOCHMUTH AFP

Barcelona are planning to make a move for Rapid Vienna forward Yusuf Demir, a 17-year-old left-footer who has perhaps inevitably been dubbed the “Austrian Messi” and has been attracting interest from across Europe. The youngster has been impressing an army of scouts and ESPN report that Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are also keen on snapping him up.

Dortmund and Barcelona favourites for Demir

However, Barça are considered to be favourites for Demir’s signature having been watching the youngster for a while now. Austrian daily Kronen Zeitung have suggested that the forward could be available for between €6m and €8m.

Bild, meanwhile, report that Dortmund are also intending to throw their hat in the ring and the Bundesliga club’s reputation for putting youngsters straight into the senior side has proven invaluable in recent transfer windows with Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham all having chosen that route.

Rapid Vienna are hoping to hold on to Demir until 2022, by which time he will have been able to sign a new contract as an 18-year-old giving the Austrian side a chance to place a decent release clause on any future sale.

The Austrian Messi

Demir is considered the brightest prospect of his generation to emerge in Austrian football and has been called up for the senior national side for the upcoming international break after being fast-tracked to the under-21s after scoring freely for the under-17s. He can play across the front line and is noted for his close control and shooting ability as well as his dribbling and low centre of gravity, hence the comparisons with Messi. At the age of 15, he was named player of the tournament at the under-19 Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup.

One down side of his game according to observers is a reluctance to track back but that is hardly a huge surprise given his age and attacking ability.

Demir made his senior debut for Rapid Vienna in December 2019 and has scored six times in 24 appearances for Dietmar Kühbauer’s side this season.