Real Madrid scouting Dundee Utd winger Ryan Gauld

Real Madrid are scouting Dundee United prospect Ryan Gauld.

Real Madrid are scouting Dundee United prospect Ryan Gauld.

The Daily Mail says Gauld, 17, was the subject of a scouting mission by a Real scout as the youngster emerged from the bench for Wednesday night's 4-1 League Cup win over Partick Thistle at Tannadice.

United midfielder John Rankin insisted Gauld is the Real deal.

"Ryan has a massive future," said Rankin. "The talent in the boy is incredible. If he is being linked with Real Madrid at that age, then it wouldn't surprise me - it really wouldn't.

"He is so level headed and if anyone deserves it, it would be him. I don't know if someone is hyping it up or someone is just trying to make a story.

"But I hope for the sake of the boy it's true.

"It certainly would not surprise me if he moved on to a big club. You want to see him doing well.

"He is so grounded and I hope for his sake and for the sake of the club - and a right few million - that it's true."

Real already have teenage Scots prospect Jack Harper on their books.

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