Barcelona are reportedly set to go head-to-head with arch-rivals Real Madrid for the transfer of French sensation Eduardo Camavinga in the summer.

According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, La Liga giants Barcelona have set their sights on Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who is also a key transfer target for bitter rivals Real Madrid ahead of the summer window.

Camavinga, 18, having come through the ranks at Rennes, broke into the first-team towards the end of the 2018/19 campaign. However, it was the last season during which the teenage midfielder enjoyed a proper breakthrough playing a key role in propelling his team to a third place finish in Ligue 1, in the process establishing himself as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe.

Camavinga has continued in the same vein of form this season as well and his rise to stardom in a short period of time did not go unnoticed, with Real Madrid having been interested in securing his transfer last summer. A move never materialised, although the Merengues continue to hold a strong interest in the 18-year-old, given as manager Zinedine Zidane is a huge admirer of his compatriot.

Real Madrid’s interest in Camavinga makes a great deal of sense as well considering that Luka Modric is in the final phase of his career while Toni Kroos is also in his thirties. In addition to that, Zidane lacks any sort of alternative for Brazilian enforcer Casemiro in the centre of the park, something that Camavinga’s arrival can address before the teenager eventually makes the spot his own in the years to come.

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Real Madrid, as it is, were facing competition from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United in the race to sign Camavinga. Now, La Liga rivals Barcelona have also entered the fray for the teenage midfielder.

Barcelona, as per the report, are keen on putting a long-term succession plan in place for midfield mainstay Sergio Busquets. While the seasoned campaigner has had a sort of a mini-renaissance this year, at 32, he will need to be phased out of the first-team gradually at Camp Nou. And with Miralem Pjanic failing to make the kind of impact since arriving last summer, it is only prudent of Barcelona to look at long-term solutions outside.

To that end, the Catalans are said to have identified Sassuolo’s Italy international midfielder Manuel Locatelli as an option. In addition to that, Real Betis midfielder Mikel Merino is also being considered as an option while Camavinga is another player that Barcelona are looking at as a long-term replacement for Busquets.

Camavinga is set to enter the final year of his contract with Rennes and has been putting off talks of a new renewal, which does give Barcelona a bit of hope. However, with Real Madrid also in the hunt along with a few other clubs from England, the Catalans might find it difficult to push a move through given that their finances have not been in the greatest of health of late.

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