Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed Real Madrid and Manchester United previously wanted to sign teenage striker Rayan Cherki.
Cherki only signed his first professional deal at the Ligue 1 club a year ago and they reportedly beat off interest from other clubs to secure the deal.
Born in France to parents of Italian and Algerian descent, Cherki has drawn comparisons to Madrid striker Karim Benzema – who also starred for Lyon at a young age.
Zinedine Zidane is said to be a major force behind interest from Madrid, as cited earlier this year by Le10sport from El Confidencial, as he also is with Rennes teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
“He is good enough to go to the highest level,” Aulas explained to Telefoot. “We made sure we signed him because Real Madrid and Manchester United both wanted him.
“We want him to be a star here, we will support him and help him to progress his career here and be the leader of our attack.”
The reports earlier this year claimed that Madrid president Florentino Perez may sanction a deal which would see the striker join the club this summer before immediately being loaned back to Lyon for two seasons to aid his development.
The teenager has made 12 first-team appearances for the French club this campaign, scoring three goals.