Report: Manchester United interested in young Swedish striker Jesper Karlsson

The 18-year-old Falkenburg striker is drawing attention across Europe and could cost up to £8million.

Report: Manchester United interested in young Swedish striker Jesper Karlsson
Photo: FotbollDirekt.se

Premier League side Manchester United are interested in Swedish striker Jesper Karlsson, currently playing in his home country Falkenburg.

The 18-year-old could join his country's hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford with the Reds tracking the progress of Karlsson.

Yet a deal, according to Swedish outlet FotbollDirekt.se, could cost Jose Mourinho's side up to £700,000, particularly with rival interest from two Dutch giants of youth football, Ajax and Feyenoord. The Swede made 16 appearances for Falkenburg in the league this season, and contributed to six goals, netting four times himself.

Karlsson drawing interest of Manchester United

Joel Asoro is one young Swede playing in the Premier League currently and his club Sunderland may also be interested in bringing Karlsson to the Premier League.

Photo: ROBERT BOMAN / PHOTO AGENCY
Photo: ROBERT BOMAN / PHOTO AGENCY

Sporting director of Falkenburg, Karlsson's club, Håkan Nilsson told FotbollDirekt.se that "it is clear that x number of foreign clubs have contacted us about Jesper Karlsson," although he refused to disclose which clubs. 

It's unlikely that Karlsson would be a signing for the first team at United. Instead, Karlsson would fill a gap in the Reds' under-23 side, an age group who have no striker. United need a constant stream of players in all positions and so a striker who can develop in the under-23 age level is necessary, with midfielders James Weir (who has now left for Hull City), Demetri Mitchell and Matty Willock all tried as a lone striker in recent weeks by manager Warren Joyce.

Nicky Butt looking to continue academy overhaul

Nicky Butt, a member of the Class of '92 and now the academy chief at United, has spoken of his desire to bring in players to strengthen squads at all age groups in the academy, one of the finest in the world but recently under pressure to improve. Butt has been brought in, having previously been a coach, to modernise and improve the academy and has done well, so far.

Karlsson celebrates | Photo: LINNEA RHEBORG / PHOTO AGENCY
Karlsson celebrates | Photo: LINNEA RHEBORG / PHOTO AGENCY

Kieran McKenna, one of England's most well-regarded youth coaches, has come in from Tottenham Hotspur to take over the under-18 side, previously vacant after the sacking of Paul McGuinness in February. Scouts have been signed across the globe while many more changes have been made in the set-up.

Players, too, have been brought in. At under-18 level, Tahith Chong has joined from Feyenoord, Joshua Bohui has joined from Brentford and Nishan Burkart has joined from FC Zurich. Idris Kanu is the latest trialist for McKenna's side, scoring twice on a debut against Middlesbrough a week ago, a 5-1 victory.