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Sources: Bayern set to sign 17yo A-league star

طوبیٰ Tooba 8 months ago 0 2

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Bayern Munich are set to win the race to sign teenage attacking sensation Nestory Irankunda from A-League side Adelaide United on a deal that would smash the Australian national league record.

Sources have told ESPN that the deal to secure Irankunda’s transfer to the Bavarian giants is effectively done, with the only major holdup being FIFA regulations that prevent the winger from moving to Europe until he turns 18 years old next February.

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The fee for Irankunda, which has been reported to be worth AUD $5.76 million ($3.6m) including add-ons, would easily surpass the A-league record that had been set earlier this year, when Marco Tilio moved from Melbourne City to Celtic on a deal understood to be worth nearly $AUD 2.9m.

Irankunda, who was born in Tanzania and moved to Australia as a three-month old after his Burundian parents fled the country’s civil war, was on the radar of a host of European clubs including Liverpool, AC Milan and Inter Milan, as per reports from Italy in May.

However, the links to Bayern have been the strongest and the most persistent, and the Bundesliga champions appear set to land the highly rated forward.

Irankunda made his debut as a 15-year-old for Adelaide during the 2021-22 season and was an asset off the bench in his first two seasons in the A-League Men, scoring eight goals in 799 minutes as a substitute.

On his first senior league start, he scored a sublime freekick to open the scoring for Adelaide in their 6-0 second round win over Melbourne City.

However, the following week he received a 90th-minute red card in his side’s 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory, harkening to the maturity concerns that have followed him since his breakout.

An Australia international at the under-17 level, Irankunda was called up to the senior side as a training player in friendlies against Ecuador in March this year.

Despite his strong start to the season, has been left out of the Socceroos squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Palestine.

“I went with the [U]17s to Thailand [at the 2023 U17 Asian Cup] and Nestor did very well,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said on Thursday.

“I do believe he has that great relationship at Adelaide.”

“They’re there not only to support on the field, but off the field as well. He’s got some great qualities. It is just probably getting more consistency with those qualities.

“He has shown that he can do incredible things but it’s more about the consistency of it. Whatever that next pathway is.”

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