Monday 22 January 2018

Moyes ready for long battle in bid to keep Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj
Adnan Januzaj

Mark Ogden

DAVID MOYES has raised the prospect of a protracted battle to secure Adnan Januzaj to a long-term contract at Manchester United after admitting the club must overcome "influences" around the emerging youngster.

Moyes, who confirmed plans to extend the contract of club captain Nemanja Vidic beyond the end of this season, has promoted 18-year-old Januzaj (right) to the first-team squad since succeeding Alex Ferguson as manager and the Brussels-born winger is in line to make his fourth appearance for United against West Bromwich Albion today.

However, United have so far failed to agree a new contract with the player's advisers, while the Belgian FA has been told to shelve attempts to select him for the national team, with the youngster considering pledging his allegiance to Albania because of his Kosovo-Albanian roots.

With Juventus understood to be accelerating efforts to lure Januzaj to Serie A, Moyes has urged the teenager to follow his own mind.

"Adnan is keen to stay, but he has some influences around him," said Moyes. "We think an awful lot of him. He is a Manchester United player and I'm sure he will (continue to) be.

"We think this is the best place for producing and giving young players an opportunity. We think we do it better than anybody else.

"It is part of my remit to promote young players. Adnan has been promoted. The next part is to become a regular first-team player."

Januzaj's emergence has left £12m signing Wilfried Zaha without a minute of first-team football since the Community Shield, but Moyes insists the former Crystal Palace ace will get his chance.

Moyes, who could restore fit-again Robin van Persie to his team today, has backed Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini to step up their performances after being criticised following last Sunday's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.

"Ashley didn't play particularly well against City, but you could have picked another half-dozen who didn't. He will be OK and we will give him every chance to prove what he can do.

"As for Marouane, I think when I took him (from Everton) he looked a little bit short and not as sharp as I wanted him to be. He has found the tempo of the training slightly different and because of that he was a little bit behind." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

West Brom v Manchester United,

Live, Setanta 1, 3.0

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