Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing 17-year-old French defensive prodigy Ismael Doukoure, who is also on the radars of Barcelona as well as Arsenal.
According to an exclusive report from Spanish outlet Defensa Central, reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid have set their sights on teenage defender Ismael Doukoure but are set to face competition from arch-rivals Barcelona as well as Premier League bigwigs Arsenal.
Doukoure started out at the LOSC Lille youth academy before making the switch to the Valenciennes youth setup in 2017 where he has made rapid strides, breaking into the first-team setup in the ongoing season despite being just 17 years old. Indeed, the centre-back has already racked up 22 appearances for the Ligue 2 outfit, catching the eye of several clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid.
Real Madrid chief scout Juni Calafat, who has been responsible for bringing in gifted youngsters like Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes to the club, has identified Doukoure as one for the future, as per the report. The Merengues see the teenage defender as someone who can, in the near future, replace the current crop of first-team centre-backs.
Given that Sergio Ramos is in the final few weeks of his contract and Raphael Varane is heavily linked with a transfer to Manchester United, Doukoure might not have to long to break through in the first-team should he make the switch to the Spanish capital club, more so considering that Nacho is also 32 years old.
However, Real Madrid may have to face competition from bitter rivals Barcelona, who are also said to be interested in signing the 17-year-old Valenciennes prodigy. Much like Los Blancos, the Catalans are also looking at a defensive overhaul in the near future as Gerard Pique is in the final leg of his illustrious career while both Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet have been linked with exits ahead of the summer window.
While there is a need of someone top-class to slot in right into the first-team at Camp Nou, a move for someone as promising as Doukoure, despite his young age, would not go amiss, especially seeing how the likes of Pedri, Ilaix Moriba, Ansu Fati and Oscar Mingueza have all enjoyed promising runs in the first-team at the club under Ronald Koeman.
Apart from both Real Madrid and Barcelona, Arsenal also have an interest in Doukore, with the defender likely to provide cover for the first-team options as David Luiz is set for an exit from the Emirates when his contract runs out at the end of the season.
Doukoure is described as a player with an impressive physical stature despite being just 17 years old. As per the report, the teenager also possesses good pace and is known for his ability to anticipate danger while also being reliable with the ball at his feet. It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid are able to land the talented defender or are beaten to his signing by their rivals.