Borussia Dortmund Under-23s manager Timo Preus has cast doubt on the age of youth product Youssoufa Moukoko.
Moukoko has impressed in Dortmund’s development system since joining from St. Pauli Youth in the summer.
The 12-year-old was immediately promoted to the club’s Under-17 set-up, and has scored 17 goals in eight games so far this season.
Such incredible goalscoring form has attracted attention and speculation that the German Under-16 international is not the age he states.
Preus fuelled such rumours, telling Spox: “With Youssoufa, I can imagine that his age has only been guessed.
“Maybe in reality he is one or two years older. But certainly he is not 17. For him that is very difficult. There is nothing to blame him for, the boy is not cheating or anything.”
Dortmund youth co-ordinator Lars Ricken dismissed the speculation in response.
“He is 12 years old,” he told Ruhr Nachrichten. “That is a fact and there is no doubt about it. Some media reports about him have been disappointing.
“He plays in our U17s because we believe that he belongs to this age class in a sporting way.
“He plays in a very good team and has team mates, who support him well.”