As careers go, Junior Kingué’s is one of the most intriguing, especially for a 19-year-old.
The French centre-back is currently playing at Santos in Brazil after many trials at some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including the likes of Ajax Amsterdam, Manchester United and Manchester City.
Speaking to Foot Mercato, the youngster explains how he ended up playing for the Brazilian side, training alongside Rodrygo, despite trying out for two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League.
With Meudon, a small French side, at the time, he travelled to England for a couple of friendlies.
He said: “We played against Leicester and Ipswich. We won both games. I was man of the match. A number of English agents came forward. I had trials at Manchester United, where everything went well, but the agents wanted to up the price.
“They then sent me to Manchester City, but I was tired, I had backache and I only spent a day there. Manchester United knew that I had gone to City, and therefore nothing got done in the end.”
The youngster then ended up going to Holland, where he spent time with Ajax, Twente and Feyenoord, only for him to eventually return to France.
It’s at this point that Nadir Bosch, a former French athlete, who is now his advisor, told him to go to Brazil to then return to Europe later.
Trying out with Atlético Paranense, the player took part in a tournament in which he played well, which is when Santos came knocking.
He said: “Pelé, who is close to Nadir, saw my videos, appreciate what I had to offer and helped me go to Santos. He’d done that with Neymar and Robinho. It’s a real honour.”
Foot Mercato state there’s now a good chance Kingué could return to France, with talks taking place between his entourage and club in the top 5 in Ligue 1.
On top of that, a couple of Premier League sides have also taken an interest.
Manchester United and Manchester City aren’t named, but could it be that José Mourinho’s side will live to regret their decision should he become the next big thing?
We’ll have to wait and see.