Newcastle United have made reportedly shown an interest in highly-rated Rennes midfielder Désiré Doué.
The 17-year-old is enjoying a breakthrough season with the Ligue 1 club and has already made a serious impact in European competition during the first half of the campaign. After progressing through Les Rouge et Noir’s academy in recent years, Doué was handed a senior debut when he appeared as a late substitute in a 1-0 home defeat against Lorient on the opening day of the season.
A first start came just under a month later in a 2-1 defeat at Lens but Doué made his mark four days later when he scored his first senior goal to help his side to a 3-1 home win over Brest. The youngster also found the net in the Europa League in a 2-1 victory against Dynamo Kiev as he made five appearances as Rennes safely navigated their way through a group containing the Ukrainan side, AEK Larnaca and Fenerbache to set up a two-legged tie with Shakhtar Donetsk in the first knockout round.
Speaking after a goalscoring display against Nantes in October, Rennes manager Bruno Génésio said of Doué: “He broke the whole stadium again with this goal which sums up the player he is and who he can become. Now it’s up to him and everyone around him to take it with a lot of perspective and moderation, I’m not too worried about that. It shows that there is a project for young players at Stade Rennais. I would like it not to be only with a desire to shine here to go elsewhere in six months or a year.”
The youngster was compared to former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney in a profile produced by BreakingtheLines.com earlier this year. In the feature, they said: “The frightening thing about Doué is the fact at just 17, he already possesses the physicality to rub shoulders with seasoned pros. His upper body strength is reminiscent to Wayne Rooney’s when he burst on to the scene, what makes treasures like Doué and Rooney so precious is their elegant technique matches their athletic physique. His current role of impact sub means he often gets to flummox and bamboozle tiring defenders oscillating from sledgehammer to scalpel in a single shift of feet.”
Although an ankle injury and and illness has restricted Doué’s involvement in Rennes’ last six games in all competitions, French outlet MediaFoot have reported Newcastle are ‘becoming accustomed to watching Ligue 1’ and have been buoyed by the impact of Bruno Guimaraes since he moved to Tyneside from Lyon 12 months ago. The report states the Magpies have been impressed by Doué and have ‘positioned’ themselves to make a move for the France Under-19 star.