Chelsea have reportedly asked for information about Saint-Etienne’s 17-year-old midfield whizkid Lucas Gourna-Douath.
According to a report from French publication RMC Sport, Chelsea are among a host of clubs that are interested and have made an approach for Saint-Etienne’s teeenage midfield prodigy Lucas Gourna-Douath.
The 17-year-old youngster signed for Saint-Etienne youth setup from the US Torcy academy in 2018 and has made rapid strides within the club. Indeed Gourna-Douath broke into the French outfit’s B team in September 2019 aged just 16 and earned his first-team debut for the Saints in September last year when he was only 17 years old.
Since then, there has been no looking back for Gourna-Douath, who became a regular feature in the middle of the park for the Ligue 1 club, racking up 30 appearances in his maiden campaign. The defensive midfielder has also represented the France national team across various age-group levels.
Gourna-Douath’s swift rise to prominence in France has not gone without notice, with Chelsea among a number of top clubs showing an interest in the 17-year-old’s services. The Blues’ interest in the teenage whizkid is not now, with the west London club having been keeping tabs on him for quite a while now.
Chelsea boast of a solid midfield unit led by the trio of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic with Ruben Loftus-Cheek for cover while the talented duo of Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour will also be options next year when they return from their loan spells. However, it must not be lost on manager Thomas Tuchel that both Kante and Jorginho are not getting any younger.
Furthermore, Kante had to deal with quite a few injury issues over the past year or so. Therefore, having a long-term succession plan in place for the 2018 FIFA World cup winner makes total sense for Chelsea, which is where someone like Gourna-Douath would enter the fray, especially after the Blues lost one of their own midfield prodigies, Lewis Bate, to Leeds United.
To that end, Chelsea are said to have ‘asked for information’ on Gourna-Douath from Saint-Etienne, along with German giants Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. In addition, Serie A outfit Atalanta are also strongly interested and have even submitted an offer of €10 million, which is well below the club’s valuation of the 17-year-old sensation.
Furthermore, the report goes on to add that Gourna-Douath, who is contracted with Saint-Etienne, is not considering leaving the club currently. The teenager is keen on staying put in France for another year at least and continue his development. It now remains to be seen if Chelsea or any other club are able to change that stance this summer.