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Rey Manaj: Inter Milan told they've signed 'new Ibrahimovic'

EXCLUSIVE: Inter Milan have been told they've landed the 'new Ibrahimovic' in the form of Albanian superkid Rey Manaj.

It broke last week that Inter had beaten rivals Juventus and Atletico Madrid to the signing of Manaj from Cremonese.

The Nerazzuri have coughed up a bargain €1 million for Manaj, who has been likened to PSG superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic - not just in potential, but also attitude.

Albanian football expert Arlind Basholli, from the Gazeta Express, told tribalfootball.com: "Manaj is a player who likes to play as a second striker, but easily can adapt to being a centre-forward. He is a speedy player, not selfish and has great shooting ability.

"Specialists who have watched his game have said that he has similarities to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they also see him being a rebel player."

Basholli adds: "He is definitely one of the best youngsters Albanian football has."

Manaj was born in Lushnje, Albania, and migrated to Italy with his family at a young age. During his time with Cremonese, he also had a loan spell with Sampdoria's youth team, where he came under the tutelage of Enrico Chiesa.

Manaj's move to Inter surprised local fans, as the young forward had been in discussions with Juventus for some weeks. But Inter stepped in as Juve dithered over Cremonese's asking price.

Inter football director Piero Ausilio had received glowing reports from his lower division scouts last season and pounced after learning that Juve were hesitating.

Basholli continued: "His transfer to Inter was a surprise for us all, because he was very close to joining Juventus. However, he chose the best option for himself."

Manaj's move has been celebrated in his homeland, where there is a sizeable Inter Milan fanbase.

"It is a great thing for football in Albania, because we have a lot of Inter fans here," adds Basholli.

"They are proud of Manaj with this achievement."

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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