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Rennes lead the race for St Pat's starlet

French club Rennes are leading the queue of European clubs seeking to recruit St Patrick’s Athl...



Rennes lead the race for St Pa...
Soccer

Rennes lead the race for St Pat's starlet

French club Rennes are leading the queue of European clubs seeking to recruit St Patrick’s Athletic’s starlet Glory Nzingo.

The 17-year-old made his debut for Saints at the age of just 15 in a friendly with Chelsea in 2019.

Nzingo was named the FAI’s U15 Player of the Year last year and has a host of European clubs chasing his signature.

According to reports, Ligue 1 side Rennes are leading that race, offering the Dubliner a contract, although talks with both Pat’s and Nzingo’s representatives are ongoing.

Rennes finished sixth in the Ligue 1 last season, qualifying for the inaugural Europa Conference League.

The Brittany club qualified for last season Champions League for the first time in their history, although they only won a single point in their group with eventual winners Chelsea.

Les Rennais are renowned for their youth development, with notable academy products including current star Eduardo Cammavinga, Abdoulaye Doucoure and the sixth most expensive player of all time, Ousmane Dembele.

Nzingo has played for multiple clubs around the capital, starting with his local Mountview Boys before also lining out for Castleknock Celtic, Cherry Orchard and Home Farm. Nzingo then moved to Inchicore, where he helped Pat’s secure the U19 League of Ireland.

The European mainland has become a new route to elite football for Irish prospects due to the fallout from Brexit, although it will continue the talent drain from Ireland.

The post-Brexit rules mean that UK clubs cannot recruit players under the age of 18, which has created opportunities for clubs from continental Europe to pick up young Irish prospects.

Shamrock Rovers striker Kevin Zefi is due to join Serie A champions Inter Milan, whilst Rovers team-mate Sam Curtis was considered by Bayer Leverkusen.

The Irish contingent plying their trade on the continent has never been stronger, with the recent U-21 Ireland squad including players at Borussia Monchengladbach (Conor Noss), Sevilla (Ryan Johansson) and Getafe (John Joe Finn Benoa).

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