Sogndal captain Sivert Mannsverk has said he ‘appreciates’ speculation linking him with a move to Everton, Arsenal and Aston Villa, while speaking to Nettavisen.
It says a lot about not just his ability but also his attitude that, at the age of just 18, Mannsverk is already wearing the captain’s armband at a club who finished third in the Norwegian top flight last season.
A deep-lying midfielder with an eye for goal, the teenager is very highly rated in Scandinavia and his progress has not gone unnoticed among some of Europe’s biggest and best.
La Lazio Siamo Noi reported that Serie A giants Lazio were facing competition from Arsenal, Brighton and Aston Villa.
Calciomercato, meanwhile, believe that Mannsverk is also a target for Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, not to mention Inter Milan, Ajax and a Groningen side who discovered a young Arjen Robben and Luis Suarez.
“Fortunately, I have people around me who allow me to focus on other things,” said Mannsverk, who is determined to keep his head on his shoulders and his feet on the ground.
“I’m from a small place, and do not like to talk myself so loudly. When people call me (and express an interest), I appreciate it, but now there has been a lot of talk about rumours.
“I want to give back what Sogndal has given to me. It is the club that decides (whether I will stay or go), and then I think I have a contract until 2022.
It seems that Mannsverk was always destined to lead.
The soon-to-be-19-year-old is not afraid to make his feelings known on or off the field and such a bullish attitude is likely to go down well among his many suitors.
“(Taking the captaincy) characterises me. That’s just the kind of person and type I am. At the same time, I have learned a lot, and I hope I can develop and take more responsibility in the dressing room later.”