He may be one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe, but Manchester United look to be in a strong position to sign Eduardo Camavinga .
Having entered the final year of his current contract at Rennes , the teenage midfielder should be available for a much more reasonable fee than he would have been a couple of years ago.
There’s no secret to the widespread interest in Camavinga around Europe. Not only has he made 82 senior appearances for Rennes aged 18, he also has three caps and one goal for France.
Technically excellent, positionally aware and an exceptional dribbler, he has a set of skills which have marked him out as one of the standout talents in French football.
According to transfer reports, United have made direct contact with Camavinga’s camp and are making progress on negotiating a move. Rennes are reportedly looking for a €30m (£25.7m) fee, with Paris Saint-Germain also interested.
One factor which may work in United’s favour is the presence of Paul Pogba. Speaking about his France teammate last year, Camavinga said: “I am inspired by Paul Pogba, an excellent player who has a huge career.”
Pogba gave Camavinga a glowing reference in return when they linked up on international duty last October. “It is a pleasure to see him don the [France] shirt,” he said. “To score after his first start [against Ukraine in a friendly], that is honestly wonderful.
“I was truly happy for him. I only wish him the best and much more. He has everything for that. His future is in his hands.
“He is very at ease, he is a little dancer. He makes me think a bit about me. He is not a timid person.
“It is good, because he is confident. He has confidence in his qualities. He is a very good youngster, I like him enormously.”
The relationship between the two players could make United even more determined to extend Pogba’s contract. Like Camavinga, he has entered the final year of his current deal.
And another who has lauded the teenager is France boss Didier Deschamps. Though Les Bleus coach has warned the midfielder that achieving his potential is entirely up to him.
“His potential and what he is capable of, what he has done with us, and what he has done since, obviously there’s a big difference,” he said earlier this year.
“Potentially, he’s not supposed to drift from the scene either, after that it is up to him to look at the various elements to see what made his performances less strong.”