Man United scout Sarpsborg teenage midfielder Krepin Diatta - source
Manchester United have stepped up their interest in teenager Krepin Diatta by scouting the midfielder during his outing for Norwegian club Sarpsborg 08 against Odd on Monday, a source has told ESPN FC.
Regarded as a player with strength, athleticism and pace, Diatta, 18, is viewed as one of the most promising youngsters currently playing in Europe and United have monitored his progress in recent months.
Sarpsborg moved to protect their asset by handing the Senegal youth international a four-year contract in February, which he signed.
With strong links to Norway and a well-established scouting network in Scandinavia, United have been regular visitors to Sarpsborg games in recent months and the club dispatched a scout to watch Diatta on Monday.
And speaking to Norwegian broadcaster TV2 after the game, Diatta said he "didn't know they scouted me today, but to join them would be a dream come true."
He added: "I think I'm good enough, but I play for Sarpsborg and love this club. We'll see what happens in the future."
United memorably signed an unknown Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a £1.5 million deal from Norwegian outfit Molde in 1996, but the club lost out on Jon Obi Mikel in 2005 after the midfielder opted to sign for Chelsea, having initially been pictured wearing a Red Devils shirt in a news conference to announce his expected move to Old Trafford from Lyn Oslo.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_