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Chelsea, Tottenham among many monitoring Rennes defender— report

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It’s happening again?

Joris Gnagnon has just completed his first full season as a senior professional at Ligue 1 side Rennes, but his showings for the French club already have him on the radar of many European clubs for the upcoming transfer window.

According to French news outlet SFR Sport, Chelsea and Tottenham are just two of those clubs keen on the young defender's signature. They are joined by ... deep breath ... Inter Milan, Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen and Sevilla. A giant list like that is generally indicative of agents fishing for action rather than any serious interest. That said, Sevilla had already made a €10 million bid for Gnagnon in the winter transfer window, and are apparently set to come back with an improved €13 million try.

Gnagnon started 27 games for Rennes, playing mostly as the left-sided centre back in their 4-4-1-1 scheme. The team finished 9th, but had the 5th-best defence in terms of goals conceded. The official website of Ligue 1 has him listed at 1.83m (6' 1'') and describe him as a very good defender both on the ground and in the air, coupled with "calmness in possession". His manager Christian Gourcuff corroborates the report.

"He seized his chance when it came, he's improving all the time, and he has a big future. He puts his physique to good use, but he also reads the game well and his technique means he's capable of bringing the ball cleanly out of defence. For me he's an ideal defender."

-Christian Gourcuff; source: Ligue 1

Given those qualities, it is no wonder that so many teams are supposedly monitoring his situation, but surely, Chelsea would only get truly involved if there’s a good deal to be found on the 20-year-old French youth international.