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Murtough set for Man Utd failure as rival bidders regain lead for wing target

Manchester United have been overtaken by Ajax in the race for FC Nordsjaelland forward Kamaldeen Sulemana, according to a report.

Sulemana has established himself as a top prospect over the last couple of seasons with Nordsjaelland. The Ghanaian winger has 14 goals from 43 appearances for the Danish club. With his potential clear, Man Utd have been linked with the 19-year-old. But they are not his only admirers.

United have been looking across the globe for young talents to add to their ranks. For example, they signed Facundo Pellistri last October and agreed a deal for Amad Diallo in January.

Sulemana is also on their radar, and Football Insider confirm that football director John Murtough has been in talks.

However, they have been unfruitful, as the website claims Ajax now have the edge over United in the race for Sulemana.

Nordsjaelland want to receive £15m for the teenager and are happy to let him progress elsewhere. But it seems Ajax are closer to convincing them than United.

Murtough’s Ajax counterpart Marc Overmars has reportedly given more “personal attention” to the potential transfer. Therefore, it could be easier for Sulemana to move to the Dutch club.

Another factor behind this would be that he would not require a work permit to make that move. Sulemana does not yet meet the post-Brexit requirements to join a Premier League club, putting United at a further disadvantage. Although, he is close to getting the number of points he would require.

Even so, he is now looking likely to join Ajax rather than United, who have “stalled” with their offers. It was previously thought that they had outbid Ajax, but those talks appear to be decelerating.

Ajax the ‘safest’ choice

Nordsjaelland boss Flemming Pedersen recently provided an update on Sulemana’s situation.

Asked about the player’s future, Pedersen told TV3 Sport: “That’s a really good question. Ajax is perhaps the safe choice where he will definitely get plenty of playing time.

“[Manchester] United, Liverpool and others are in the race. Well, I also know Kamal so well that when he is pressured, he automatically takes the next step as well. And with the personality and mentality he has, there I will never ever say it will be too big a leap, for he is extraordinary.”

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There’s no doubt in Pedersen’s mind about Sulemana’s ability. In fact, he has even compared him to Neymar. As such, he expects the exciting forward to move on.

Asked if he expects the player to leave Denmark this summer, he replied: “You could well assume that.

“I cannot stand here to say that I expect him to be here next season because there is so much talk about him. That’s completely understandable, and I myself helped hype him last spring when he made his debut. But we have to see what happens.”

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