July 31, 2020
Manchester United and Manchester City have reportedly made an offer for 19-year-old left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri who currently plays for French team SCO Angers. During the 2019/20 season, the teenager made a total of 17 appearances for his club, scoring no goals but assisting three times. This is the type of player that United would probably like to add to their team with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeking to play from the back, which is something the teenager currently does for his team.
The player’s current form is said to have brought him a lot of attention this summer with both United and City seeking to sign the player, the two clubs who have reportedly paid to most attention towards him. Foot Mercato has reported that both Manchester clubs have contacted the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, offering the defender a deal. It is also claimed that Mendes travelled with his client to England on Tuesday, visiting the facilities of a number of clubs, including United and City.
It is possible that Ait-Nouri could become the most expensive player in Angers’ history, which would be a good thing for the French club. Former Arsenal midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide was sold to Lyon for £28 million back in 2019 so there is a chance the 19-year-old could bring in a lot more this summer. United and City will be joined with Atletico Madrid, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Crystal Palace and AS Monaco in pursuit of the left-back.
Ait-Nouri has been at Angers since the summer of 2016, arriving at the club as a free agent from Paris FC. He signed a new contract at the club in May 2020 which will expire in the summer of 2023, meaning that his club will call all the shots this summer. Obviously, the player will be happy to see some bigger clubs interested in him and it will be considered a step up in his career. United could offer him the left-back role at the club, taking on Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams with a view of making the position his own.
City could do the same although he might only be offered a rotation option unless Benjamin Mendy is going to allow his position to be taken by the teenager. It could well be an exciting summer for the 19-year-old. He can play in three different positions, as a left-back, a left midfielder and as a left-winger. I don’t see the latter two positions being available at United though, unless it is on a rotation basis, not a permanent thing. Solskjaer will be seeking to find depth in the left-back position.
Ait-Nouri made his debut in the first team during the 2018/19n season, making three appearances for his club that season. Added to his 17 appearances and three assists this season, the player has made 20 appearances for the club in two seasons. He could have played more matches this season if it was not for the coronavirus pandemic, which suspended world football in mid-March with the French authorities cancelling both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. This could be an exciting summer for the player who could well be playing in the Premier League next season.
Written by John Walker