Spanish newspaper Sport, via the Daily Star, have chipped in with a claim that Sidiki Maiga has emerged as a target for Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid after his stupendous displays at the recent Under-17 World Cup.
Maiga, 16, notched an impressive three goals in seven appearances as Mali enjoyed a brilliant run before losing 2-0 to fellow Africans Nigeria in the final of the competition.
The Mali starlet currently plays for Malian outfit AS Real Bamako and can also play comfortably on the wings.
Maiga cannot sign a professional deal until his 18th birthday, the Star understands, but Barcelona hope to successfully secure a first refusal on the player. The European champions came under the shackles of a transfer ban after breaching FIFA rules on signing Under-18s.
Arsenal boss Arséne Wenger is famed for turning youngsters into world beaters and, the Frenchman has been successful in turning some African teenagers into stars. Kolo Toure is a good example as the centre-back was plucked from ASEC Mimosas in Ivory Coast and became a first team regular at the Emirates before making a switch to Manchester City.
Maiga will fancy his chances of blossoming into a star at Arsenal under Wenger and the Malian teenager could be tempted to snub Barca and Real for a move to north London. Should he join the Gunners, Maiga will go straight into the club’s academy where his development will be aided by the likes of for Arsenal great Thierry Henry and Andries Jonker, both of whom are heavily involved with the youth side.
Armed with blistering pace, an eye for goal and the ability to beat his man, Maiga could be one to look out for.