He may not be able to join the club officially until next January, but Serbian youngster Adem Ljajic has been in Manchester for a few days to train with his future team-mates.
Regarded as Serbia’s brightest young talent, the 17-year-old is an attacking midfielder blessed with vision and intelligence.
Ljajic (pronounced ‘yaich’) will continue his footballing education at Partizan Belgrade until next January, but will make regular trips to Carrington to allow United’s coaches to monitor his progress.
During his latest visit, ManUtd.com sat down with Adem (and fellow countryman Zoran Tosic, who acted as translator) to discuss his hopes for the future at Old Trafford…
When did you first hear about United’s interest and how excited are you at the prospect of playing for the club?
I first heard they were interested in me about a year-and-a-half ago, which I was very excited about. I spent a week at Carrington training with the first team, which I really enjoyed, and I feel very happy to be a Manchester United player. Everyone at the club has made me feel very welcome and I’m looking forward to joining in January.
How does the training at United differ to what you’ve been used to in Serbia?
The quality is very high over here because you’re training with great players, but the main difference is it’s much quicker. I have enjoyed it very much and training with these top players can only help me improve. Training with the team has allowed me to see how things work so I know what to expect when I come here. And I hope that when I join in January I will be involved with the first team from the start.
What have you learned from the other players so far?
I am a big admirer of all of them and I learn things from them in every session. I try to copy what they do and I hope I can keep improving.
For those United fans who have not seen you in action, how would you describe yourself as a player?
[Laughs] I think I am good technically – I like to dribble with the ball and I am quick.
[Tosic gives his own evaluation] Adem is a very good