Arsenal join Man Utd and Chelsea in transfer race for ‘next Patrick Vieira’

Arsenal: Arteta hails youngsters as they ease through

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Arsenal are in the frame to sign highly-rated Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga alongside Manchester United and Chelsea, according to reports. The teenager is considered by many to be one of the brightest young prospects in world football, and has already gained comparisons to the likes of Xabi Alonso and Patrick Vieira despite his tender years.

Camavinga has featured heavily for Rennes since breaking into the first-team picture last season.

The France under-21 international has played 34 matches in all competitions throughout the current campaign, chipping in with one goal and a pair of assists from his deep-lying midfield role.

His performances have turned plenty of heads on a regular basis, leading to suggestions that he could be set for a big-money move to an elite club in the near future.

The 18-year-old was likened to France and Arsenal great Vieira by Ligue 1 last year, a bold but telling observation given his considerable ability on the pitch and imposing physical frame.

United have been linked with Camavinga for some time, while Chelsea, who were the Premier League’s biggest spenders last summer, appear to have joined the Red Devils in tracking the midfielder ahead of next season.

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However, there are believed to be a number of additional parties harbouring hopes of securing his signature.

United and Chelsea could face Premier League competition in the race for Camavinga, according to Marca, who have named Arsenal as another club potentially keeping tabs on his development.

The Gunners have had considerable success with French players in previous years, from Vieira and Robert Pires to the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud.

It remains to be seen whether or not the north London club will act on their reported interest and raid the French market once again ahead of the start of next season.

The report also claims that Real Madrid are keen on Camavinga, suggesting that the battle for his services could evolve into a four-horse race in the coming months.

His agent Jonathan Barnett, who boasts an impressive stable including a number of the game’s highest-profile players, previously suggested that the midfielder could be interested in a move to the Spanish capital.

“Madrid are a great club, a great club to play for,” Barnett told The Athletic.

“Eduardo will have a choice of a lot of clubs if Rennes decide to release him. They will be one of the four of five clubs in the world he might go to.

“Eduardo would love to play for a top club. Madrid are one of those top clubs in the world, so are Barcelona.”

However, Barnett also hinted that a move to the Premier League could be in Camavinga’s best interests.

He claimed that the youngster is more than good enough to mix it in England’s top flight, highlighting his extraordinary talents and ability to overcome adversity at such a young age.

“Camavinga can play next year in the Premier League,” said Barnett. “He is that good. Whether he will or not, I don’t know.

“His background is tough if you know what he went through as a refugee. But his character is amazingly strong. He is not your average 18-year-old.

“Playing in front of 100,000 people is not going to scare him. He’s a lovely boy and I think he’s going to be a superstar.”

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