FC Midtjylland starlet Mikkel Duelund admits it is his dream to one day play for Manchester United, but first wants to help eliminate them from the Europa League. After failing to qualify from the group stages of the Champions League, Louis van Gaal's side begin their campaign in Europe's second competition away in Denmark on Thursday 18 February.
The Danish champions eliminated Southampton in the qualifying rounds of the competition back in August and will be looking to bring a premature end to United's campaign too. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder Duelund has aspirations of one day making his own move to Old Trafford, but insists that won't be playing on is mind when he lines up against his boyhood club.
"I have been a United supporter since I was a little boy, you know with posters and scarves on the wall of my room," Dueland was quoted as saying by the Mirror. "My cousin played with the Denmark youth national team against Wayne Rooney and got his shirt after the game. So I had Rooney's shirt on my wall for many years.
"Now I will face him in an important game. That's a crazy thought as a fan, but as a player I don't think about it. My only focus is on football and to do my best for the team. I am not a fan in this situation. I am a player, who will do everything to beat them."
According to Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet, Liverpool are firm admirers of the youngster and made an approach for the teenager in August after he impressed against their Under-21s side in friendly with Denmark's Under-20 side. Duelund's ambition is to play for their arch-rivals United, however.
"My ultimate dream in football would be to play for Manchester United, but here and now my biggest ambition is to knock out the team I love."
United's 2-1 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday 13 February was another telling blow to their hopes of clinching Champions League qualification, with the club now six points adrift of fourth placed Manchester City. After the defeat, United boss Louis van Gaal admitted the club's best opportunity to secure Champions League football next season now lies in winning the Europa League, with winners of the competition guaranteed a place next year.