Exclusive: Newcastle United target has suitors, transfer could hinge on one thing, says expert

Newcastle United have been among the clubs linked with transfer interest in Rennes wonderkid Desire Doue in recent times, and Jonathan Johnson has confirmed that top clubs are looking at him ahead of this summer.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his latest Daily Briefing column, Johnson explained that European football could be crucial to determining Doue’s future amid interest from the likes of Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund, which has been reported by L’Equipe.

Doue, 18, looks like a fine young talent and could be an exciting addition to top clubs this summer, but Johnson expects that he would stay at Rennes for a bit longer if they managed to climb into the Europa League places, though this is currently far from guaranteed.

Newcastle fans will no doubt be keeping an eye on this situation, as this French wonderkid looks like someone who could have a big career ahead of him, and it would be smart business by them to get to him before he becomes a bigger name and perhaps ends up at one of their Premier League rivals.

Doue transfer situation explained by Johnson

Desire Doue celebrates a goal for Rennes

“There have been some transfer rumours circulating about Rennes wonderkid Desire Doue – he’s a very talented young player, very exciting. He’s still just 18 years old and looked a bit in and out at Rennes earlier this season, not necessarily seeing eye to eye with the management, but he’s now having a really good season,” Johnson said.

“I think his development is going really well, and his maturity has come on leaps and bounds, with the player now earning a bit more trust and being utilised to the best of his ability. A lot of clubs are now interested in his situation, and would be very happy to pick him up should he become available.

“There was a scenario when he might’ve gone out on loan in the January transfer window, though obviously that situation has turned around quite substantially now and it’s bigger clubs showing an interest. I think the biggest thing that affects his future now will be whether or not Rennes qualify for Europe or not.

“At the moment they’re just a little bit behind the main spots and it’s going to be tough for them to really move up too many positions before the end of the season. They’re 7th now but four points behind Lens, six points behind Nice, so the best-case scenario for them is possibly 6th, but I’m not sure I see Lens falling away enough, while with Nice, it depends on if they can rescue themselves from this recent slump in form.

“I think if Rennes do secure European football for next season then I think it would make the most sense for him to stay. If they miss out, there’ll be no shortage of potential takers for Doue.”

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