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'Baby Messi' joins Sporting Lisbon with £48m buy-out clause

ESPN staff
July 2, 2014
Ryan Gauld, in action for Scotland U19, is tipped as one of the future stars of world football © Getty Images

Ryan Gauld, the Scottish teenager dubbed "Baby Messi", has joined Sporting Lisbon on a contract that contains a €60 million (£48m) buyout clause.

Sporting have signed the 18-year-old from Dundee United for an undisclosed fee.

Attacking midfielder Gauld, who has agreed a six-year contract, is a Scotland Under-21 international and reportedly attracted attention from several major English clubs before signing for Sporting Lisbon.

In a statement,Dundee United's official website read: "Subject to the usual formalities, Dundee United confirm the transfer of Ryan Gauld to Sporting Lisbon, for an undisclosed fee, was completed last night. Everyone at the club wishes Ryan sincere best wishes in his future career."

Gauld scored eight goals in 38 games for Dundee United last season and helped them reach the final of the Scottish Cup last season.

Sporting, the former club of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo, will compete in the Champions League next season after finishing second to city rivals Benfica in Portugal.

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