Manchester United have been dealt a double blow in their pursuit of Rennes starlet Eduardo Camavinga.
The prodigious 17-year-old is one of the hottest properties on the football market, having set Ligue 1 on fire this season with his impressive performances.
Despite his tender years, the player dubbed ‘the new Paul Pogba’ leads the whole of Europe in a number of defensive midfield statistics and it was revealed this week that United’s head of global scouting Marcel Bout has been personally watching the French star.
It has also been reported that United intend to make a move for Camavinga this summer, doing battle with Real Madrid for his signature.
But Rennes president Nicolas Holveck has now categorically ruled out selling the player this summer.
‘For Eduardo Camavinga, the project is to continue to progress at Stade Rennais’ he told RTL on Saturday, via goal.com.
‘The next season should be that of the consecration in Rennes for him. Very sincerely, yes, the project next season will be with Eduardo.’
The second nail in the coffin as far as United’s plans to sign him are concerned was the news from Spain that the 17-year-old himself has chosen Real Madrid as his next destination and does not want to join any other club.
Spanish outlet AS claims that sources ‘very close to the midfielder’ say that ‘he loves Zidane and Real Madrid’ and that ‘Real Madrid have his “yes”’.
The same sources claim that even though Rennes have declared he is not for sale, the door is open to Madrid if they cough up €50 million (£45m).
‘The truth is that it is a request from Zidane [to sign him] if Madrid fail to sign Pogba. And the United player seems, today, an impossibility (due to his high salary).’
All of which suggests that even if Pogba were to go to Real Madrid, United would not be able to sign Camavinga to replace him.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.