Football News

Nice beat Europe’s “biggest clubs” to sign son of Lilian Thuram

By Ben Green

Published: 15:34, 28 June 2019

OGC Nice have confirmed an agreement has been reached in principle with AS Monaco over the transfer of midfield starlet Khephren Thuram.

The 18-year-old has decided to pen his first professional contract with Nice rather than continue his development at the Stade Louis II.

Who is Thuram? Five things to know…

  • Age: 18
  • Position: Defensive midfield/central midfield
  • Career path so far: Monaco (2016-2019)
  • Key stat: Thuram averaged the most tackles per 90 minutes in the Champions League of any Monaco player last season (7.5).
  • Did you know? Khephren is the son of France legend Lilian Thuram.

According to Les Aiglons, the teenager was being tracked by some of the continent’s “biggest clubs” – reportedly Juventus and Liverpool – but will now join up with Patrick Vieira’s side upon the expiration of his scholarship contract with Monaco on July 1.

Speaking about the club’s new recruit, Le Gym’s Technical Director Gilles Grimandi, was quick to highlight the qualities of the promising tyro, while also suggesting he will be given opportunities to showcase his worth at the Allianz Riviera.

He told the club’s official website: “Khephren has excellent qualities and is a hardworking young man.

“He was very quickly convinced by the fact that his development as a player will rely on game time in a team that plays possession football and in a club that doesn’t hesitate in offering a chance to young players.”

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Vieira to Newcastle?

Despite the recent announcement of Thuram’s summer arrival, current manager Vieira could be on his way out, as bookmakers have made him one of the favourites to take over at Newcastle United.

It was confirmed earlier this week that Rafa Benitez would be stepping down as Magpies manager when his contract runs down on June 30.

Reports have now suggested Vieira, who recently completed his maiden campaign in the Nice dugout, is happy at the Ligue 1 club, but would be willing to talk to Newcastle should Mike Ashley come knocking.

The former Arsenal midfielder has previously been interviewed for the job in 2015 – during his time as manager of Manchester City’s elite development squad – but the Tyneside club opted for Steve McClaren instead.