Manchester United could sign Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes for € 30-40 million (according to £ 26- £ 34m), according to Get French Football News’ (GFFN) reporter at the French club, Rich Allen.
Camavinga is entering the final year of his contract with Rennes and is expected to leave this summer, with United reportedly taking an early lead in the hunt to sign him.
Allen, a Rennes supporter since the 1990s and a journalist with GFFN and French Football Weekly, gave The Peoples Person an exclusive interview in which he shared his insight into the 18-year-old and his potential transfer to the Red Devils, which we have been following in a row reports this week.
The Peoples Person: Rich, we have heard stories that Rennes has set a price of € 100 million (£ 86 million) as a ‘negotiation tactic’, although Rennes’ manager Bruno Genesio has denied this. What are your impressions of how much the club realistically hopes to get for starlet?
Rich Allen: The figure of 100 million euros was always on the slightly optimistic side and really stemmed from his breakout season in 2019/20 and perhaps most importantly before the pre-pandemic. With yet another season closer to the end of the contract and a season he may have really struggled to consistently hit the heights of the previous campaign, this hopeful figure is forgotten. My belief is that they would look at around 30-40 million. € with a real push towards the top end of it.
The person of the people: And the bottom line – is something in this window really better than nothing, or do they have a minimum?
Rich Allen: Rennes have been looking to extend Camavinga’s contract, but with a change in various circumstances, including staff changes, player departures and a change of agent, the chances of negotiating the extension will be successful.
With rumors that he is looking for a bumper salary increase to almost unprecedented levels in the club, if he does not sign a new contract, the club will look to make a sale. Like so many clubs in France, they can not really afford to let valuable players leave for free, and therefore I can imagine it would take the best offer this summer rather than let him leave for nothing at the end of the season. Of course there will be a minimum and I expect the club will not really look at entertaining offers that are well below € 30m. (£ 25.8 million).
The Peoples Person: Is it the right time for him to move to a big club like United? Do you expect him to go straight into the first team?
Rich Allen: I would personally question whether this is the right time for him to move, especially to the Premier League. Last season showed that despite all the recognition he receives in the media, he still needs to make sure he consistently plays well. Further development is certainly needed and I honestly think a couple of seasons with Rennes would make him the good of the world. Unfortunately, we have seen too many young potential superstars take a step at the wrong time. I hope Camavinga, who has always come across as a very level, can recognize that playing time and development are the most important areas for him now.
There are still areas in his game that I would like to see him improve on before I make a move such as. To United. At the moment, I think there is enough there for him to at least get a start, but I fear fans can easily get frustrated if he does not hit the ground. I return to my belief that he still needs additional time to develop before a move of this kind.
The Peoples Person: Could he play as a single defensive midfielder in the Premier League, and are you aware of the position United want him for?
Rich Allen: I personally would not see him play in this position. His future is like a box to box midfielder. He can read the game well, has a decent distribution and is not afraid to tackle, but he also loves to get on the ball and take it forward.
At Rennes, his best performances came along with Steven N’Zonzi. N’Zonzi would be the one to lean back on, more in the defensive role that enabled Camavinga to operate at both ends of the pitch. With Pogba looking like a boxer, I would be curious to see how they would come together – I would suggest they could work together if there was an extra midfield there to get deep.
People’s Person: Does Rennes have a natural replacement for him or anyone in mind?
Rich Allen: Fortunately, the youth academy in Rennes is one of the best there is. Just as Camavinga came out of the production line, it looks like another young midfielder is set to take over when his inevitable departure comes. 17-year-old Lesley Ugochukwu broke into the first team last season and I expect we will see more of him this season. Since N’Zonzi has also left, I would expect the club to bring in an experienced midfielder as well.
Peoples Person: Mohamed Bouhafsi at RMC Sport says he prefers a PSG move. Is that true and how likely are they to take a step back?
Rich Allen: I do not know if there is a real preference at the moment. Real Madrid have probably been the club most consistently associated with a move for him, but that may have slowed down a bit as other clubs have entered the game and Zidane, of whom Camavinga is a fan, has left. If he moved, PSG might not have been a bad move as it keeps him within the confines of Ligue 1, where media focus may be less intrusive, despite being PSG, compared to the Premier League.
The person of the people: Would Pogba become or be a factor in his decision? And would Varane come to United also help?
Rich Allen: Varane could possibly be a factor, but it is Pogba who would be more of a move for Camavinga. Back in November 2019, Camavinga declared Pogba as his idol. The chance to play with him could therefore prove to be a powerful negotiation tool.
Peoples Person: Speaking of Pogba, what’s the word on the street there? Will he sign a new contract with United, or is he on his way?
Rich Allen: The stories that connect him to PSG are getting stronger almost day by day. Raiola and Leonardo have developed a pretty good working relationship over the years. Pogba for PSG would make sense to some extent, but I think PSG would need to discharge more players to get started. With Camavinga also linked to PSG, it remains to be seen whether PSG will go for one or both. Other than that, the stories seem more in favor of a Pogba departure rather than a contract extension.
People Person: Thank you so much for your time, Rich.