Stade Rennes attacker Jeremy Doku has explained to Ouest France via Goal.com what his reasoning was for rejecting a transfer to the English Premier League.
Doku, who joined Rennes for a fee of 26 million Euros last year, admitted that there was interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in his services whilst he was still at Belgian giants Anderlecht.
The winger states that when he was approaching his 16th birthday, which presents the moment that a youngster can provisionally agree a professional contract, there was interest from a lot of teams across Europe.
He stated that the current English champions showed the most concrete interest. Liverpool reached out and the forward had chats with Jurgen Klopp, Steven Gerrard, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, who all tried to show him why this move was right for him.
The now 18-year-old Doku , has shed some light on his talks with Mane, revealing that they spoke a lot.
“I was going to be 16 and that was the age you can sign a professional contract. A lot of teams came to see me. Everyone talks about Liverpool because it was the most concrete interest, but there was also Arsenal and Chelsea.
“I was able to discuss with Jurgen Klopp, Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Steven Gerrard too. I talked a lot with Mane, but we didn’t really talk about football. We talked about everything. He told me that I was young, that I still had time… he wasn’t trying to convince me or to say to me ‘come here, you will succeed’.
“I preferred to be careful. I know what my trajectory had to be. That’s why, at 15, I told myself it had become serious, because I’d seen my career. I know what route I needed to take and I knew at that moment I needed to stay at Anderlecht.”
Doku continued to emphasise that he has no regret for taking the decision to move to France as he feels it was the right move for him at this stage in his career.
“As soon as I’m asked if I regret it, I always say no, because if Liverpool came to me at 15, if they like me, they’ll come back later, that’s certain. It’s up to me to play well.”
He has scored one goal and assisted another three in 31 appearances for Rennes this season. The youngster has primarily featured on the right-wing, but can also play on the opposite flank.
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By Prince Sobayeni