Key reason cited as Man Utd hopes of landing Ligue 1 sensation ended
Ligue 1 starlet Eduardo Camavinga appears destined to remain with Rennes after a key recent ruling greatly boosted their chances of holding onto the teenage sensation.
Camavinga, 17, quickly established himself in the heart of the Rennes midfield this season.
Despite his tender years, the all-action defensive midfielder became a crucial component in the club’s efforts to secure Champions League qualification, making 36 appearances in a season which he began as a 16-year-old.
His vibrant displays had attracted the attentions of a number of Premier League clubs, with Tottenham, Liverpool and Man Utd all touted to be chasing the €50m-rated midfielder.
The Red Devils reportedly cooled on the prospect of the move, clearing the way for La Liga giants Real Madrid, but now it appears all concerned parties are set for disappointment.
The decision taken last week to prematurely end the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season meant Rennes qualified for next season’s Champions League by finishing a single point ahead of Lyon in third place.
The opportunity and allure of playing in Europe’s elite club competition has boosted the club’s chances of retaining Camavinga’s services according to Rennes manager Julien Stephan, who pinpointed the need for squad consistency if they are to establish themselves as a European contender.
“If we change the team every year, we won’t maintain consistency,” he said in an interview with Ouest France, reported via Marca (via FootballEspana).
“The club being in the Champions League is good news (to retain Camavinga), and the club can continue to help him.
“Contrary to what I have read, his intention is to remain, and his best intentions are served by competing in the Champions League with the club.”
Though the player now appears more likely to remain in France next season, the FootballEspana report notes that money may still talk if the club receive a substantial offer.
A figure of €60m is touted as being necessary to bring the Ligue 1 club to the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca has made his intentions clear regarding the future of on-loan Man Utd centre-half Chris Smalling.
Harry Maguire’s arrival as the world’s most expensive defender last summer left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a bloated squad and, while far from the worst centre-back on the books, the 30-year-old was allowed to leave on a year-long loan.
Smalling has shone in Serie A to the point where his England career looks set to be revived, with Gareth Southgate heading to Rome to watch a defender he looked to have all but ruled out ever calling up again.
Solskjaer has spoken of his expectation that in-form Smalling would return to United next season, but talk has persisted the Red Devils will look to sell him on and a £25m transfer fee appears to have ruled out Roma with the Italian side instead looking at three other Premier League-based options.