Januzaj, 18, made his full Premier League debut for the Red Devils only this weekend, having joined the club from Anderlecht in 2011. With his two goals handing United a 2-1 away win at Sunderland, though, the club are eager to tie the young star down to a new contract with his current deal expiring next summer.
The 18-year-old, another product of Belgium’s golden generation, marked his first Barclays Premier League start with two goals — the second a stunning left-foot volley — as David Moyes’s struggling side came from behind to claim three points.
And, with the attacker’s contract set to expire in eight months and several clubs interested in signing him, the United boss is eager to secure a deal to keep his new star.
It is little over a year since Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba walked out of Old Trafford in search of regular first-team football and a better contract, and the Premier League champions will be keen to avoid a second such costly mistake with their latest academy talent.
With Manchester City hoping to tempt the youngster to cross the city, per John Edwards of the Daily Mail, and Juventus looking to secure another prospect from United's academy, negotiations have quickly upped in pace following his eye-catching recent first-team outings.
He’s a great prospect. He takes the ball, he runs at players and he’s got great ability. It’s great the manager has thrown him into the side, especially with what has happened in the last few games. There was big pressure on us, but the manager has trusted him and he has repaid that.
He’s very confident, that’s great to see. A lot of the young players who come through are a little bit timid and shy, but he looks comfortable and he’s confident in his own ability, which you need to be. It was a brave move to play him in the circumstances and we’re delighted it’s paid off.
There is a lot of pressure, but he seems to thrive on it. We know the ability he has got, but you never know how they are going to react when they are thrown into games. We need to help the younger players and if we do that, they’ll be moments where they come in and win us the game, as has happened here. The experienced lads need to help them emerge into a team.
With several of David Moyes' senior players not performing to expected levels this campaign, Januzaj's emergence will be of great relief to the club's hierarchy, with the teenager an immediate hit with the club's fans.
His goalscoring heroics this weekend should ensure that he remains around the first-team setup in coming weeks and will further add to the pressure on the likes of Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia to address their worrying poor form of the past 12 months.
Januzaj's emergence has also made waves at the Football Association, it was revealed this weekend. Speaking on BBC's Match of the Day programme, England manager Roy Hodgson said:
There's no doubt that he's a real talent and we have our eyes on him but a lot will have to be discussed. He's been with United for a long period of time and of course that discussion will have to be seriously debated before we start naturalising players.
Yes [he could play for England] down the line if he becomes naturalised or if he becomes a homegrown product.
Born in Belgium to Kosovar-Albanian parents, the BBC Sport report states that Januzaj is eligible to play for a number of countries including Belgium, Albania and Turkey should he so choose in the coming years.
For United, though, the priority is to ensure that, regardless of which national team he should choose, his future is spent at Old Trafford.
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