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Manchester United doing battle with European giants for Lyon wonderkid

Old Trafford stadium at night

Manchester United are looking to the future by weighing up a move for Lyon's 15-year-old gem Mathis Rayan Cherki. 

Cherki is one of the most highly-rated young players in France at the moment, with reports already linking him with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus. 

He turns 16 on August 17, meaning he'll be eligible for a move within the European Union.

The elephant in the room is, of course, the UK's own status within the EU. Currently the UK have an extension of the Brexit process until October 31, so just enough time for United to lure Rayan Cherki to Manchester.

He is certainly a remarkable prospect. Last year, just 33 days after his 15th birthday, he became the youngest ever player to score in the UEFA Youth League, in Lyon's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City Under-19s.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is still trying to convince Rayan Cherki to stay on at the Olympic Stadium, but a move to a European giant may be too difficult to ignore. 

United are not in the habit of signing academy players from abroad, but they are willing to break tradition here, such is Cherki's potential – according to reports, they are offering him their biggest-ever contract for a scholarship-age player. 

Much of United's business this summer has revolved around young talent - with Aaron Wan Bissaka's signing all but confirmed today - as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to put a disappointing season behind him and build a new Manchester United team in his own image. 

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