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Angelo Henriquez: As Juventus circle have Man Utd blundered with his sale?

Manchester United fans! Forget about Andrea Pereira being the new Paul Pogba. What about the Chilean lad bangin' them in across Croatia?

With his new deal still unsigned, there's plenty of concern about Pereira going the same way as Juventus star Pogba. But have United already blundered by agreeing to sell Angelo Henriquez to Dinamo Zagreb?

"He's the best player of Dinamo, a brilliant striker, who can score goals from anywhere," enthused former Dinamo coach Kruno Jurcic.

"He has a great attitude. He's aggressive, but also responsible.

"He doesn't hide from defensive tasks and will attack that last line of defence when the opposition have the ball."

Some review... and why not? The Chilean, sporting the famous Dinamo No9, has scored 12 goals in 18 games.

By his own admission, Henriquez hasn't felt so good on a pitch since his days with Universidad de Chile as a teenager.

"I had a good debut season in Chile when I played for Universidad de Chile. Maybe I'm a little emotionally tied to that time, but this season is certainly along the lines of that," says the centre-forward

It's the sort of form which has brought him to the attention of bigger European rivals - including Juventus.

Henriquez shares the same agent, Fernando Felicevich, as Juve midfielder Arturo Vidal and Chilean media sources are reporting the Turin giants have already made enquiries ahead of the summer market.

And Dinamo's price to sign the 20 year-old? £780,000.

Nothing has been formally confirmed, but Dinamo coach Zoran Mamic is adamant Henriquez is theirs.

"We have bought him outright," said Mamic. "Taking Henriquez depends on us, not on Manchester United. We took him with the right of first refusal, which stands at around €1.1m and we have already signed a contract with him for the summer. There is no longer any doubt - he is ours and the story is settled."

For his part, Henriquez is already talking like he's a permanent Dinamo player.

"My loan from Manchester United lasts until the end of the season and I know that Dinamo have bought my contract which means that the club is satisfied with me and therefore I am happy.

"I feel good with Dinamo Zagreb. I feel great on and off the pitch and I want to stay here.

"People are very welcoming and have accepted me, I have gained many friends, and Zagreb is a lovely city.

"Whenever I go somewhere, I feel that the fans are happy with me and that is important.

"Next season we will again play in European competition and if all goes according to plan I will be a part of it."

What's impressed most at Dinamo is Henriquez's attitude. There were some doubts when he accepted the No9 shirt at the start of the season, with the likes of Davor Suker and Mark Viduka having worn the number in previous eras.

"I did not know that this number was so important, but I was brave and I accepted this challenge," recalled Henriquez, who has since silenced the doubters.

"Ángelo is fantastic," says Mamic. "He works so hard. We're fortunate to have him in the team.

"I'm happy for him as he's getting the rewards for the mighty work he puts in on the training ground."

Henriquez did speak last week of eventually returning to Old Trafford one day in the future. But for now, he has more pressing targets - including a call-up to Chile's Copa America squad.

"I am optimistic about the Copa. If I can keep playing as I am, there's no reason to think I wouldn't be considered. Oh, an attack of myself, Alexis Sanchez and Junior Fernandes would be a dream come true."

For now, it's all positive for Manchester United. But could they rue allowing Angelo Henriquez to slip away so easily in 2015?

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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