The hype surrounding Januzaj (l) just grows and grows, with Manchester United manager David Moyes comparing him to a young Wayne Rooney. Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Albanian-Belgian footballer Adnan Januzaj has landed the biggest contract for a teenager in Manchester United history, including a signing bonus of Â£5 million. Januzaj, age18, will be paid a base salary of Â£60,000 a week, and his signing bonus will be paid in weekly installments of Â£20,000 spread over the five years of his new deal. The contract surpasses those of former United stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney as well as those of other young England stars footballers. Additionally, Man U had to fight off interest from other football powers, including the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, for the rights to the youngsterâ€™s services.
Adnan was born in Brussells to ethnic Albanian parents of Kosovan descent. He started his football career with FC Anderlecht in Belgium before joining Manchester United in 2011 at the age of 16. The youngster was one of the few United players to shine in their disappointing 1-1 home draw with Southampton. And he really made a splash with a match-winning two-goal show against Sunderland in Unitedâ€™s last match before the international break.
Manchester United manager David Moyes is bullish on his young winger. â€œHe is an outstanding talent and has impressed me consistently since I came to United in July,â€ he told the press. â€œHis balance, poise and ability to beat players is truly exceptional for a boy of his age. â€œ Januzaj said his next challenge was to establish himself in the first team. â€œItâ€™s like a dream,â€ he said. â€œNow I want to work hard and establish myself as a Manchester United player.â€
Interestingly, Januzajâ€™s family heritage makes him eligible to represent four possible countries in international competition: England, Belgium, Kosovo, or Albania. Albania has been particularly vocal in their desire to have the youth represent them. â€œWe are ready to accept anything just to have the young, talented Januzaj become part of our national team, so he can contribute for the future of the Albanian football,â€ an Albanian FA spokesman said. Reports are, however, that Januzaj is leaning towards representing England instead, but his father will reportedly make the final call.