Chelsea are among the clubs keeping a close eye on Saint-Etienne’s youth prodigy Lucas Gourna-Douath, who could leave the club for €15 million-€25 million.
According to an exclusive report from Foot Mercato, Saint-Etienne may have to part ways with their youth prodigy Lucas Gourna-Douath in the summer, amid the financial crisis inflicted by the pandemic. It has put Chelsea on red alert, with the Premier League giants closely monitoring the situation alongside Bundesliga heavyweights RB Leipzig.
A product of the Saint-Etienne youth academy, Gourna-Douath has made impressive strides in professional football since his debut against Strasbourg back in September. At the age of just 17, the central midfielder has notched up 23 league appearances for the first-team, becoming one of Ligue 1’s brightest prospects at the moment.
St. Etienne, however, fear they may have to offload the player owing to their poor financial conditions. Gourna-Douath’s sale, in that regard, could go a long way in helping the club balance its books, with the player being valued at around €15 million to €25 million.
The 17-year-old’s potential departure to Chelsea, in particular, would resemble the sale of William Saliba and Wesley Fofana in recent years, as both these players did indeed go on to join Premier League clubs. Gourna-Douath may well follow suit, in a move that could be described as part of Thomas Tuchel’s summer overhaul.
The German tactician may have already had a glimpse of the St. Etienne midfielder during his time at PSG earlier this term. His arrival at Stamford Bridge, therefore, should make sense as the Blues look to strengthen their core with the mix of young and experienced players, which was pretty much his mantra during spells in PSG and Borussia Dortmund, respectively.
It is also fair to point out that Tuchel is never afraid to give youngsters the opportunity to perform at the highest level of football. So even though Chelsea do already boast the services of established stars like Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in the middle of the park, it won’t be surprising to see Gourna-Douath featuring for the first-team next season, should he join the Blues in the summer.
That is where things could actually get tricky for Chelsea as the Premier League giants do face competition from RB Leipzig. The Bundesliga outfit, led by the excellent Julian Nagelsmann, has an excellent record of nurturing French talents in recent years, having produced stars like Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate and Christopher Nkunku, to name a few.
Chelsea, therefore, may have to be swift in their pursuit of Gourna-Douath, knowing Leipzig do have an excellent case to make. Nevertheless, the 17-year-old could just be one part of Tuchel’s plans as the Blues brace themselves for yet another spending spree this summer, having emerged as one of the top contenders to sign Erling Haaland next season.