According to reports in Norway, Liverpool have coaxed teenage goalkeeper Edvard Tagseth from his homeland to their academy.
The Reds have fought off interest from rivals Everton and Manchester United for the 14-year-old’s signature, who will join the Merseysiders from Neset FK Youth.
Ignoring the moral implications of extracting children from home environments, dragging them hundreds of miles to play junior level football that may well result in release before a pro deal is offered, all to potentially save a bit of money down the line, does this acquisition suggest Norway is set to become the next hotbed of European talent?
Belgium currently hold the mantle as the chief superstar production factory on the continent, after churning out an ungodly stream of supremely gifted practitioners in recent years.
Inevitably, the national team have reaped the rewards of this incomprehensible outbreak of talent, going from no major tournament appearance since 2002, to frontrunners for the most coveted prizes in international football before qualifying campaigns have concluded.
At present, they’re second behind Wales in Group A to reach Euro 2016, yet only world champions Germany, hosts France and European kingpins Spain can be backed shorter than their 10/1.
The mainstays of their team – Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois – all made big-money moves to Chelsea while in the fledgling stages of their careers.
In De Bruyne and Lukaku, the Blues made massive profits, while they’ve also seen the values of Courtois and Hazard inflate to a level even Real Madrid would have a tough time meeting.
Owing to these successes, Belgian prodigies are now priced at an ever-climbing premium, prompting those looking to snap up the hottest young properties to turn attentions elsewhere.
Norway may well be that place.
Real Madrid were the first to tap in to the market, purchasing playmaker of tomorrow Martin Odegaard, who signed an £80,000-a-week deal despite being aged 16, for £2.3m.
The raft of Premier League clubs in the Tagseth skirmish, which Liverpool appear to have won, suggests there is plenty young talent to be laid claim to in Norway, so don’t be surprised to see the Scandinavian outfit at the forefront of international competition across the next decade.