Jeremy Doku could have joined Liverpool or Arsenal two years ago, according to his father, while Chelsea were another option.
Doku became one of the biggest prospects in Belgium after debuting for Anderlecht at the age of 16. He scored four goals in 24 games for them last season.
Over the summer, there were reports suggesting Liverpool had outlined him as a target. Jurgen Klopp reportedly viewed the 18-year-old as a long-term successor to Sadio Mane.
However, Doku eventually moved to France to join Rennes instead. He signed a five-year contract after the clubs agreed a deal worth an initial €26m.
It meant there would be no Premier League football for Doku at this stage. However, his father has now confirmed that English interest in his signature has stemmed back even further than the summer just gone – and Liverpool were not the only suitors.
“Two years ago we went to England and visited Liverpool and Arsenal,” David Doku told Gazet van Antwerpen (via Sport Witness).
“We ran out of time for Chelsea, but that interest was never so concrete.”
The Belgian newspaper adds that Manchester City were another contender for his signature, as well as Dutch duo Ajax and PSV Eindhoven.
Doku unfazed by Chelsea challenge
The winger will get the chance to show Chelsea what he can do when they face Rennes in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday.
Doku senior does not think his son will feel any pressure at Stamford Bridge, though – as he is always calm before big games.
“Jérémy doesn’t care about that,” he added. “He never has stress.
“He just loves the game, he’s not busy with everything around it. Although he dreams of his first Champions League goal against Chelsea tonight.”