|Tempting: Manchester United have offered Adnan Januzaj £60,000 per week to stay at the club|
Manchester United have offered Adnan Januzaj a staggering £60,000 a week to stay at Old Trafford after his match-winning display at the Stadium of Light.
The 18-year-old, another product of Belgium’s golden generation, marked his first Barclays Premier League start with two goals — the second a stunning left-foot volley — as David Moyes’s struggling side came from behind to claim three points.
And, with the attacker’s contract set to expire in eight months and several clubs interested in signing him, the United boss is eager to secure a deal to keep his new star.
One man who has been impressed is team-mate Wayne Rooney, who is well qualified to pass judgment on precocious teenage talent.
Januzaj’s style and swagger offers a reminder of that shown by Rooney when he burst on to the scene at Everton. ‘He’s very confident,’ Rooney said. ‘A lot of the young players who come through are a little bit timid and shy, but he looks comfortable and he’s confident in his own ability, which you need to be.
'He takes the ball, he runs at players and he’s got great ability. I think it’s great the manager has thrown him into the side, especially with what has happened in the last few games.’
Januzaj’s two goals also took the heat off Moyes, a manager who has never hesitated to blood young talent. It was Moyes who gave Rooney his debut at Everton and more recently Ross Barkley.
Januzaj, who has impressed since the summer, deserves mention in the same breath.
‘He has been so good, it was hard to stop him,’ said Moyes, who looks set to lose Marouane Fellaini for a few weeks due to a wrist injury.
‘I remember giving Wayne his debut, and Adnan is certainly that quality. He has got goals, he has got ability on the ball, but we will keep his feet on the ground.’
The only blot on his copybook was a yellow card for diving.
Rooney also backed Moyes, insisting he is not to blame for United’s struggles. ‘A new manager has come in and we haven’t been good enough,’ he said. ‘We know it’s us who have let him down.’
Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball is to meet owner Ellis Short on Monday to make his pitch for the full-time job. The former captain, whose side took the lead through Craig Gardner, has been in charge for the three games since Paolo Di Canio’s sacking.
Short remains open-minded on Di Canio’s successor but director of football Roberto De Fanti is thought to favour Gus Poyet. Tony Pulis and Alex McLeish have also been linked with the vacancy.
Ball said: ‘I spoke to the chairman before the game. It was nice that he came to the dressing room beforehand and wished us all the best. It’s an ideal time for a decision to be made. The players and staff have all mucked in because they want success for this club.
‘I keep saying to them it’s not just for now. It should be forever. You should know who and what you represent and what you need to do to go about being the best.’