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Arsenal, Manchester United 'among clubs tracking 18-year-old Ligue 1 starlet'

Arsenal, Man United 'among clubs tracking 18-year-old Ligue 1 starlet'
© Reuters
Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly among several clubs prepared to battle for the signature of Rennes attacker Desire Doue this summer.

Arsenal and Manchester United are apparently among the teams keeping a close eye on the exploits of a highly-rated Ligue 1 teenager.

Eighteen-year-old Desire Doue was officially promoted to the Rennes senior squad in 2022 after coming through the Rouges et Noir academy, and he has blossomed into a key man for Julien Stephan.

A versatile playmaker who is comfortable in several positions behind the striker - including on both wings and the number 10 role - Doue has already made 74 appearances for the French giants, recording eight goals and seven assists.

The 2005-born protege has made his mark in Ligue 1 this term, registering four goals and five assists in 29 games, while also earning four starts in Rennes' Europa League campaign.

A former European Under-17 champion with France, Doue has since been capped for his nation at Under-21 and Under-23 level and is looking good for a call-up for this year's Paris Olympics.

Desire Doue celebrates scoring for Rennes on October 6, 2022© Reuters

Nine teams battling for Doue signature?

Rennes tied their academy protege down to fresh terms last summer, but his existing contract only runs for another two years, so a summer sale is not beyond the realm of possibility.

According to TBR Football, Doue's exploits in his homeland this season have put him on the radar of a plethora of European powerhouses, including Arsenal and Man United.

Both English titans are expected to be on the lookout for new wide men ahead of the 2024-25 season, but they are expected to face stiff competition from across the continent to capture the France youth international.

The report adds that Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are also in the running, as are fellow Premier League sides Chelsea, Aston Villa and Newcastle United.

With so many interested parties, Rennes could entertain a bidding war for the France youth international's services this summer, as his possible suitors apparently view him as one of Europe's most promising prospects.

Man United, Arsenal to part ways with wingers this summer

Paris Saint-Germain's Nuno Mendes in action with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho on May 1, 2024© Reuters

Doue may be unproven in the Premier League and lacking serious experience at the top level, but if his exploits in Ligue 1 are anything to go by, he would prove to be an extremely useful asset to Erik ten Hag or Mikel Arteta.

Man United could axe up to three wingers from their ranks this summer, as Getafe loanee Mason Greenwood is not expected to be re-integrated into the first team, despite claims that the Red Devils were prepared to welcome him back before changing their minds due to public uproar.

The same goes for Jadon Sancho, whose falling-out with Ten Hag left his Old Trafford career in tatters, and the Red Devils are also expected to entertain bids for the under-performing Antony, whom they must take a severe financial hit on if they are to sever ties with him.

Meanwhile, Arsenal academy graduate Reiss Nelson only signed a new long-term deal with the Gunners last summer, but the only natural replacement for Bukayo Saka on the right has only seen limited game time this year.

Arsenal's motivations for tying Nelson down to new terms therefore appear to be financial in nature, and the Englishman should also exit the club in search of regular game time elsewhere.

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Arsenal's Bukayo Saka pictured on April 28, 2024
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