The youth match that made Manchester United open talks to sign Amad Diallo Traore from Atalanta

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According to SportWitness via L’Eco di Bergamo, Atalanta president Antonio Percassi has detailed how Manchester United caught the eye of Amad Diallo Traore after he impressed against rivals City.

The game in question was a UEFA Youth League tie away to Manchester City on October 22 last year, Atalanta won the encounter 3-1, thanks to a goal and assist from the golden boy.

Percassi states that United made contact to sign the winger a few days after that match, with Atalanta’s head honcho adding that this is when the ‘real negotiation started’.

The Serie A outfit fell behind in just the 12th minute, due to a goal from Ian Poveda – now at Leeds.

Amad, who donned the No.10 shirt in the game, helped his side draw level in the 24th minute, the talent used some electric pace to burst down the right-wing and down to the byline.

Despite pressure, Amad drilled the ball into just outside the six-yard box, where Davide Ghislandi was on hand to slot it across the line.

Amad put the game to bed in the 78th minute of the tie with a beautiful solo goal, the ace picked up the ball deep in City’s half before using his fine dribbling and speed to charge into the box – skipping past two City players on the way.

The youngster rounded off an exceptional run by poking the ball into the back of the net, past a helpless and rushing goalkeeper.

Just in case anyone thought that result was a fluke, Atalanta’s youngsters again beat City, this time 1-0, when the sides met for their second encounter two weeks later.

As per Fabrizio Romano, the Manchester outfit have signed Amad in a deal worth up to €40m. With the Italian journalist also hinting that the talent’s wait for an Italian passport is why he’ll arrive in January.

Highlights of the Atalanta youth side’s impressive win can be seen from the official YouTube channel:

Pictures from Atalanta’s official YouTube channel.

Here’s Percassi’s comments on the deal to L’Eco di Bergamo, via SportWitness:

“The negotiation with Manchester lasted almost a year. The details and the scenarios are crazy. Meeting after meeting we learned unimaginable things.”

“This leads to the growth of the club and enriches the work of everyone, from the general manager, Umberto Marino, to the entire staff.”

“A few days after the Youth League game against Manchester City, the other Manchester contacted us. They had followed him, the real negotiation started. We went twice to England.”

“The text of the final agreement is a contractual masterpiece.”

“The professionals involved in the operation are of a high level. In terms of negotiations, we have learned a lot. And it is above all thanks to Luca’s work that we arrived at the final figures.”

Amad started to break into Atalanta’s first-team last season, the attacker scored when he made his his Serie A debut off the bench last October, with the ace making two more outings as a sub since.

Amad, who was born in the Ivory Coast and moved to Italy at a young age (perhaps explaining the passport and work permit formalities holding up the deal), has been on the bench for the side’s three Serie A games this season, but has yet to be called on.

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