According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Arsenal are among a host of European clubs interested in securing the services of Eduardo Camavinga this summer.
The talented 18 year-old has reportedly refused to sign a contract extension with Ligue 1 side Rennes, which is set to spark a transfer scramble in the coming months. With his current deal coming to an end in 2022, Rennes will look to sell the midfielder in the upcoming transfer window, rather than lose him for free at the end of next season. Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid are all said to be interested in the 18 year-old.
Born in Angola, Camavinga made his international debut for France last September, having moved to the country when he was two years old. The highly-rated teenager replaced N’Golo Kanté midway through the second half of France’s 4-2 Nations League victory over Croatia on September 8th, making him the youngest player to represent the French national team since 1914. Camavinga scored his first international goal a month later, acrobatically converting an overhead kick in a 7-1 win against Ukraine.
Largely deployed at the base of midfield, the French international has become an integral part of Rennes’ first team, featuring in 31 of their 33 league games this season, missing just two through injury. One of the most highly rated teenagers in world football, Camavinga’s playing style can be compared to that of Paul Pogba, who the Angolan-born midfielder has drawn inspiration from; “I am inspired by Paul Pogba.” Versatile and hard-working, Camavinga is good with the ball at his feet, but does not shy away from a tackle. Arsenal fans have called for the 18 year-old to replace Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s engine room, and strike up a partnership with Thomas Partey.
At just 18 years of age, Eduardo Camavinga has already racked up 78 first team appearances, including 4 in the Champions League. Since making his debut for Rennes in April 2019, at just 16 years and 4 months (the youngest player to ever play for the club), Camavinga has been tipped for stardom. Speaking to the Athletic, the youngster’s agent, Jonathan Barnett said: “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.”
Barnett went on to say: “Camavinga can play next year in the Premier League. He is that good. Whether he will or not, I don’t know.” These comments have only added fuel to the fire when it comes to the race for his signature. According to reports, Rennes will look for a fee in the region of £45 million to part ways with the French international, but could accept a lower offer given Camavinga’s contract situation.
Marca have cited Rennes’ likely failure to qualify for the Champions League next season as a predominant factor in Camavinga’s decision to reject a new deal, making Arsenal an unlikely destination. But given the potential formation of a highly-criticised European Super League, this may change the 18 year-old’s mind on a move to North London.
At £45 million, a move for Camavinga would likely be off the cards for the Gunners. However, with Arsenal announced as a founding member of the European Super League this week, who knows what could happen.
Nevertheless, it would a fantastic signing for the club.