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Liverpool and Chelsea in battle to sign £30m Rayan Aït-Nouri

According to a report by Saïd Benhammadi in la Gazette du Fennec, Liverpool and Chelsea are in a battle to sign Wolves star Rayan Aït-Nouri this summer.

Aït-Nouri joined Wolves, initially on loan and then for £10 million, from Angers in 2020, making 116 appearances for the Old Gold and scoring seven goals, netting against both Fulham and Burnley in the Premier League last season.

A left-back by trade, Gary O’Neil deployed the 23 year old as a winger for the vast majority of the campaign, a position he thrived in, helping Wolves to a respectable 14th place finish.

Born in France, he represented les Bleuets at both under-18 and under-21 level, before switching his international allegiance to Algeria, debuting for the Fennec foxes in March 2023, winning 12 caps to date, starting all three matches at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, as well as World Cup qualifiers against Guinea and Uganda earlier this month.

It appears his potential has caught the eye as the report says Liverpool and Chelsea are both eyeing a move for Aït-Nouri this summer, while Man City are also named as possible suitors.

Why are big clubs interested in Aït-Nouri?

As alluded to, Aït-Nouri really caught the eye when pushed further forward into a left-wing position, having previously played as a left-back or wing-back.

His attacking threat could make him an excellent full-back for a top side, getting forward while also being defensively solid.

At the age of 23, he also has plenty of potential to get better too.

Will Wolves be forced to sell?

As Benhammadi alludes to in la Gazette du Fennec, super agent Jorge Mendes represents Aït-Nouri.

Mendes, infamously, has a close relationship with Wolves, but won’t be hesitant to move his client on, if an offer from the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea is on the table.

Like many of their Premier League counterparts, Wolves are in danger of falling foul of Profitability and Sustainability rules, forced to sell Rúben Neves to Al-Hilal for £47 million and to Manchester City for Matheus Nunes £53 million last summer to avoid a points-penalty.

Having already purchased Tommy Doyle for £4.3 million and Rodrigo Gomes for £12.7 million, the Wanderers reportedly have to sell one of their prized assets during this transfer window to avoid a PSR breach.

As they desperately seek to retain in-demand Pedro Neto and Max Kilman, could Aït-Nouri be the player sacrificed? Liverpool and Chelsea are seemingly keen, and the player would no doubt jump at the chance of a move if a deal could be agreed with either club.

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