Both Liverpool and Manchester United have made inauspicious starts to the new season, with a whole host of players already linked with both clubs head of the January transfer window, with Brendan Rodgers and Louis van Gaal no doubt looking for ways to improve their squads.
Signings with the intention of making an instant impact will be targeted the most, but both Rodgers and van Gaal have reputations for trying to develop young talent over their careers, and that could still be at the forefront of their minds as the transfer window draws closer.
One particular youngster who has been linked with both clubs is Norwegian attacking midfielder Martin Ødegaard. At just 15, Ødegaard is considered to be one of the top young players in world football having starred for Strømsgodset in his native Norway, making 20 appearances and scoring three goals, whilst also racking up a number of assists at such a young age.
He's even earned his first full Norway cap well short of his 16th birthday in December, and Europe's top clubs are lining up to sign him ahead of a predicted huge future in the game - and that includes both Liverpool and Manchester United.
However, their hopes of signing him have taken a hit after it was revealed in Norway that Ødegaard and his dad have been invited to spend time with Barcelona, who have reportedly been watching him too. The Catalan giants recently landed a similar kind of youngster in Alen Halilovic, and with their transfer ban there would only ever be a gentleman's agreement should Barcelona move for Ødegaard, but it's always hard to say no to a club of that size - especially at 15.
The visit would be for Ødegaard and his father to check out the facilities and get to know the club.— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) October 6, 2014
VG are also reporting that Barcelona have been to watch Ødegaard on three occasions and that his father have been in talks with them.— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) October 6, 2014
Ødegaard himself was asked by VG about possibly visiting clubs but said it would only be an option for him when the season ends in November.— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) October 6, 2014