Every couple of years a young talent emerges that everyone seems to want. You’ll see this player linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Juventus, PSG, and a host of other clubs.
This season that wonderkid is Ousmane Dembélé, the Rennes and France U19 striker who is averaging a goal every two games at the age of 18 in Ligue 1, with five assists on top of his nine goal tally.
Nearly every notable club in Europe is linked with Dembélé, who looks certain to depart Stade Rennais this summer. According to a source close to France Football, Barcelona have had a €35m (£27.1m) offer rejected by Rennes, who have clearly worked out that this kid can fill their coffers.
The story doesn’t end there, though. France Football claim that City and Bayern Munich are the two other main contenders for Dembélé, who only signed his first professional contract with Rennes in October.
City’s interest isn’t new. L’Equipe reported last summer that the club had launched a £1.3m bid for the player, slightly lower than an offer from Red Bull Salzburg. Neither offer was accepted and Rennes will be delighted about that now, with his value skyrocketing.
L'Equipe: City have offered £1.3m for Rennes & France U18 winger Ousmane Dembélé (18), £0.3m less than RB Salzburg. pic.twitter.com/GVkPvplK9F
— City Watch (@City_Watch) July 9, 2015
The competition is fierce for Ousmane Dembélé and France Football are sure that City are part of the battle to sign one of Europe’s most promising young talents. City have scouted and been linked with the likes of Marco Verratti, Paulo Dybala and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in recent years – but allowed those players to make career defining moves to other clubs. Perhaps Dembélé will be the one City do capture before he truly explodes on to the scene, and turn him into an £80m superstar of their own.