Eduardo Camavinga is one of the most sought after young players in football and an almighty battle is shaping up for his signature in 2021.
Camavinga has long been linked to Spanish champions Real Madrid and the 17-year-old wonderkid continues to add to his value.
The teenager made his France debut earlier this season and got on the scoresheet against Ukraine last week.
Manchester United are once again being linked with his signature – but his move to Real may need to fall through first, and the Red Devils could have a part in that.
AS claim Real are keen to sign Camavinga, but worry about interest from United, PSG and Juventus.
Real adopted a cautious approach to the transfer market this summer, essentially deciding to hold fire, and focus the club’s finances towards bigger deals in 2021.
The question is, how much of a priority is Camavinga in conjunction with other deals?
Real have been linked to PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, who The Times reports wants to move on next summer for a new challenge. He would cost around £200 million, leaving little money left for them to sign anybody else.
PSG perhaps may in that case put money towards Camavinga’s signature, adding one of the country’s top young stars to cover the loss of one, but United may have an opportunity to nip in.
Real are also touted by ESPN as a 2021 contender to sign Jadon Sancho. Again, this won’t leave much money left for Camavinga, and they will have to prioritise.
Sell Pogba to get Camavinga?
United’s trump card could be Paul Pogba. If the Frenchman does not renew his contract, then he will be up for sale next summer.
Real are long term admirers, and Pogba admitted last week it was his dream to play for the club.
Pogba’s move to Madrid could kill off Real’s hopes to sign Camavinga. There would be no need for both.
Not only would this generate funds – it would take United’s main competitors out of the running.
Objectively, Real are probably better off targeting the younger Camavinga long term, but their fans can be restless and impatient and may prefer to see a Galactico like Pogba, who will be used to the type of pressure which exists at a big club.
Perfect Pogba replacement
United’s best chance to sign Camavinga is probably to sell Pogba to Real as a distraction to take them out of the race.
If forced to look at a replacement for Pogba, then Camavinga is arguably the best player available.
At 17 his potential is clear cut. He already has 38 first team appearances for Rennes and has two international caps for France.
Playmaker Stats recorded earlier this year that at the point of the lockdown, Camavinga had made more successful tackles than any midfielder in any of Europe’s top five leagues, with 105, which was at that stages six more than United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
It would have made sense for United to target Camavinga as a Jude Bellingham alternative in the summer, but the Frenchman has been clear he wants to spend another year at Rennes, amid speculation he is holding out for Real.
United could yet manipulate Real’s interest with the Pogba situation.
A big expense
There is reason to be wary with Camavinga and that is due to cost. With Europe’s top clubs involved, the bidding war will be high.
The Mail reported earlier this year Camavinga would cost around £50 million.
This fee is likely to get pushed closer to £70 million or £80 million especially if he stars at Euro 2021 for France.
It’s possible this will cause United to back off, but if money is secured from Pogba’s sale, then it becomes more palatable to spend that on one player.
In order to move into position to do a deal, United must secure Champions League football. Competing with Europe’s heavyweights in the transfer market will not be possible otherwise.
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