Chelsea have been linked with a summer move for Rennes midfielder and Manchester United target Eduardo Camavinga. The teenager is widely considered to be one of the world’s best young players and looks to be primed and ready for a career at the highest level of the game.
Camavinga has turned plenty of heads during his time with Rennes, gaining plenty of admirers as a result of his cultured range of passing and excellent defensive screening.
He has emerged as a key player for the Ligue 1 outfit since breaking into the first-team picture two years ago and made 39 appearances in all competitions last season.
United are said to be keen admirers of the player, with the Red Devils said to be planning an imminent bid for the 18-year-old’s services.
However, Chelsea have also been credited with an interest and may be looking to pip the 20-time Premier League champions in the race for Camavinga this summer.
The Blues are preparing to mount a renewed title challenge next season off the back of their impressive Champions League-winning campaign.
Thomas Tuchel’s side could reap the rewards of Camavinga’s presence at Stamford Bridge for years to come, and it seems as though they may be looking to deploy their secret weapon in order to capture the midfielder over the coming weeks and months.
The club’s former goalkeeper and current technical and performance advisor, Petr Cech, is said to be a huge fan of the player and retains plenty of connections with Rennes from his playing days at the French outfit.
The Czech stopper turned out for the club for two years before sealing his move to Chelsea in 2004 and could decide to use his influence to swing proceedings in the Blues’ favour.
Cech is a highly-respected figure in both camps and knows better than anyone about what it takes to succeed in west London.
If the 39-year-old is able to sweet-talk Camavinga’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, he may be able to plant the seed which could eventually lead to Chelsea’s emergence as the teenager’s preferred destination.
The newly-crowned European champions have plenty of top-class midfielders to choose from at present, but the Rennes man’s capture would represent a shrewd acquisition to benefit the long-term future of the club.
Chelsea have already demonstrated their ability to develop talented young playmakers through the inclusion of Billy Gilmour last season, and it remains to be seen whether Camavinga will be next to follow suit.
If Cech is able to convince the player and his agent that his lofty potential can be realised with the Blues, it could see United fall down the pecking order in the race for his signature.
The Red Devils lack a previously established connection to Rennes and Chelsea’s possible deployment of Cech has the potential to aid their pursuit of Camavinga if they decide to act on their reported interest this summer.
They dealt with the French outfit during pre-season a year ago, shelling out a fee of £22million in order to land goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who has since established a firm grip on the starting berth between the sticks.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be able to beat United to the signing of Camavinga, with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Arsenal also believed to be keeping tabs on the young midfielder.
However, overlooking Cech’s potential role in engineering a move for the Rennes starlet would surely represent a missed opportunity to get one over their title rivals before a ball has even been kicked.
Regardless of what happens this summer, it will be crucial for Tuchel and club director Marina Granovskaia to make the right decisions in the transfer market as they look to lead Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League table at the next available opportunity.