Scotland winger Oliver Burke has made a shock move to Bundesliga newcomers RB Leipzig from Nottingham Forest for a reported fee of £13 million.
The prococious 19-year-old signed a five-year contract with the hugely ambitious German outfit and set a new transfer record for a sum paid out for a Scottish player, eclipsing the £12 million that was shelled out for Ross McCormack and Steven Fletcher.
The name of Burke’s new employers will come as a surprise after the pacey midfielder had been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The club drew its historic first top-flight game 2-2 away to Hoffenheim yesterday.
RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick said: “Oliver Burke is an outstanding talent at only 19 years-old and has an awful lot of potential, he is also an international for the Scotland senior team.
“Oliver’s pace fits in with our philosophy and he will make the next step on his sporting development with us.
“Several top clubs were interested in him and we gaining even more quality in attack.”
Burke’s rapid progression has matched that of his new club. A product of the Forest academy, which he joined aged 8, Burke made his debut for the club in a Capital One Cup defeat to Tottenham in September 2014 and was loaned to Bradford for a month later that season.
The playmaker made 21 appearances for Forest last season and made his Scotland debut as a substitute in March’s 1-0 friendly win over Denmark at Hampden before collecting a second cap in May’s defeat to Italy.
A series of eye-catching performances this season has seen Burke’s stock rise even further, the player notching four goals in five Championship performances.
Burke is likely to make his maiden competitive appearance for Scotland in Sunday’s opening World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Speaking after Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Leeds United, Forest manager Philippe Montanier had been optimistic about retaining Burke beyond the closure of Wednesday’s transfer window.
He said: “Oliver Burke is a good player and an important player for us. It is important that he stays at Forest and I am confident that will happen.”