Rayan Ait Nouri emerged as a possible signing for Manchester United at the end of last week.
French website Foot Mercato claimed United have made an offer for Ait Nouri, also alleging that the player flew to Manchester last week to hold talks with the Red Devils.
Ait Nouri is a left-back who plays for French side Angers, who finished 11th in the table.
United face competition from City, while the fact his agent is the influential Jorge Mendes adds a cloud of suspicion that the club’s name is being used to add value to his client’s reputation.
His manager rates him highly
Ait Nouri is nonetheless a very promising player, and words from his coach at the end of July suggest he is expecting his departure, while speaking of him highly.
Manager Stéphane Moulin told GFFN: ““It is not certain but there are chances that he will leave so we sought to get ahead of it. We have decided that if Rayan leaves, we have his successor in Souleyman Doumbia.
“For Rayan, I have rarely seen a boy with this talent, he is very ahead of the game. He was very well balanced and I think that he will find himself in a big club.”
Ait Nouri made 17 appearances in Ligue 1 for Angers this past season, providing two assists.
Quizzed about Ait Nouri a fortnight earlier in July, Moulin expanded more on what he likes about the 19-year-old’s game.
He told Eurosport: “I just love his sense of the game. He has made a lot of progress on the defensive side. At first he was a defender who didn’t like to defend too much.
“He also made a lot of progress athletically. I also like his way of evolving, he is a modern player, able to eliminate his opponent and make assists.
“He creates play and danger. Now, he takes on another dimension because he begins to defend well collectively, while being interesting individually.”
United have options at left-back already with Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams, but at the right price, another young prospect may be worth throwing into the mix.
He is a France under-21 international, and it may be noteworthy that BeSoccer compared Ait Nouri in style a year ago to former United left-back Patrice Evra.
It is of course in his manager’s interests to talk up his young player, and it remains to be seen if there is much substance behind United’s ‘interest’.
If there is, then we should be hopeful that Ait Nouri is the ‘rare talent’ his coach describes him as, and that he can go on to emulate Evra’s success in Manchester.
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