It has been reported that Manchester City have won the race for hotly tipped French midfield player Jules Ntcham, after a lengthy courting process.
So who is the talented starlet and what can City expect from one so young?
1. Born in the Paris suburbs, like so many other successful French stars, he is one of few French youth internationals not to have developed and graduated through the famed Clairefontaine academy instead working his way through smaller clubs until eventually signing for Paris FC.
2. Paris FC have a good record of discovering young talent, with Mamadou Sakho, Gabriel Obertan and the Belaid brothers Tijani and Aymen. He was soon spotted by Le Havre and joined their excellent youth academy in 2010.
3. Le Havre has also produced some talented players including French internationals Lassana Diarra, Vikash Dhorasoo and Ibrahim Ba. The Normandy side also have previous of youth players being hotly tipped as the next big thing after or before transfers to English clubs. Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama Pongolle moved to Liverpool with much hype and Paul Pogba previously of Manchester United.
4. At 6ft tall and physically dynamic Jules has been compared to Pogba but still has more growing to do so should develop even more.
5. At just 16 there seems much fuss is being made over the youngster but with good reason, observers in France believe he could become the next Patrick Vieira or Marcel Desailly.
6. A regular with the French under-16 side he has also captained them on more than one occasion in his fledging career.
7. Manchester City have reportedly fought of interest in the 16 year old from Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus plus Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United.
8. It’s believed Patrick Vieira played a large part in convincing the fellow Frenchman that City was the place for him, with a recent influx of highly talented foreign players and the opportunity of top class facilities to fine-tune his immense talents.
City fans should be pleased with the acquisition of Ntcham not only as he is supremely talented but also as proof they can beat the big boys in the race for younger players as well. Keep an eye out on his progress as I imagine it will be fairly rapid through the youth system and a little way down the line into the first team picture.
image: © alfonso jimenez