17-year-old Swedish – Eritrean football prodigy Alexander Isak is on the verge of signing with Borussia Dortmund, snubbing an offer from Real Madrid.
By Marcus Christenson | The Guardian,
Borussia Dortmund are set to complete the signing of AIK’s highly rated teenager Alexander Isak for €10m (£8.65m). The 17-year-old, who became Sweden’s youngest ever goalscorer earlier this month, looked set to be joining Real Madrid last week but appears to have had a change of heart and opted for the Bundesliga club.
Dortmund have gained a reputation for being one of the best clubs in Europe for young players, having signed and given first-team opportunities to players such as Christian Pulisic (18 years old), Ousmane Dembélé (19), Julian Weigl (21) and Raphaël Guerreiro (23).
Isak and his advisers, who were in Dortmund on Sunday working on concluding the deal, are also likely to have looked at the struggles of another Scandinavian prospect, Martin Odegaard, who has found it difficult at Real Madrid since joining the club as a 16-year-old in January 2015. The Norwegian has made one appearance for the club and joined Heerenveen in the Netherlands on loan this month.
Isak scored 10 league goals in 24 appearances for AIK during the 2017 Swedish season, including two in the derby against Djurgarden on this 17th birthday, and became Sweden’s youngest ever goalscorer when he found the net against Slovakia on 12 January, beating a 105-year-old record in the process.
He had become the second youngest player ever to represent his country four days previously when he made his debut against Ivory Coast and the Sweden national coach, Janne Andersson, said after the two games: “Isak is rewriting history and I am not surprised. I knew that he would do well. He is calm and incredibly stable. It’s been fun to get to know him.”
‘Next Zlatan’ Close to Deal With Dortmund
Swedish football prodigy Alexander Isak — dubbed the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic — is on the verge of signing with Borussia Dortmund, snubbing an offer from Real Madrid, Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported on Saturday.
“Alexander Isak looks set to snub Real Madrid. Instead the 17-year-old has apparently decided on another option: the big German club Borussia Dortmund,” the paper wrote, citing unnamed sources close to the club.
Isak, who earlier this month became Sweden’s youngest ever international goalscorer at 17 years and 113 days, had been close to a deal with the Spanish club, according to Spanish media reports a week ago.
Aftonbladet said the transfer fee looked set to exceed 82 million kronor (€8.6 million, $9.2 million).
If confirmed, Isak’s move to Dortmund could be part of a bigger switch-up at the Bundesliga club.
Star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admitted Friday he could leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
The German league’s top scorer so far this season with 16 goals in his 15 Bundesliga games, he has a Dortmund contract until 2020.
However, he has repeatedly expressed his desire to eventually join Real Madrid, to keep a promise he made to his grandfather just before he died.
“You know, some players have ambitions, so they leave to see something else,” the 27-year-old said.
Swedish sensation Isak, who has been courted by many top European clubs, currently plays in Sweden with AIK.
Born in a Stockholm suburb to Eritrean parents, he scored 10 goals in his debut season at AIK in 2016.