Gnagnon explains decision to snub Premier League champions Chelsea

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The Rennes defender attracted attention from the Blues and Borussia Dortmund over the summer, but opted against a move at this stage of his career

Joris Gnagnon turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea over the summer as he feared a lack of game time would stunt his development.

The 20-year-old Rennes defender has emerged as one of the most highly sought-after talents in French football.

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His potential has been noted by clubs across Europe, with Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund among those to express an interest during the most recent transfer window.

Gnagnon, however, was happy to snub the Premier League champions and Bundesliga heavyweights in favour of furthering himself in his homeland.

He told FootMercato: "It happened very quickly. Two years ago, I was in CFA [French amateur league].

"I played my first season [at Rennes], then the second. I hear we're talking about Chelsea and many other clubs, for sure it's very flattering. I was happy."

Pressed on whether he found it difficult to ignore the advancers from afar, Gnagnon added: "It was really not easy to be honest.

"After that, I had to look the truth in the face, that is, if I went to Chelsea right away, I was not sure I would be playing. You're going to Dortmund, you're not sure you're playing either. Whether I went to the right or left, I was not sure I was playing.

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"I weighed up the pros and cons with my entourage and my agent and we thought that it was better to do one more season at Rennes. It was not easy but we had to make a choice."

Gnagnon will hope that the next 12 months bring opportunities on a domestic and international stage.

Despite having represented France’s Under-20 side, the youngster has committed himself at senior level to the Ivory Coast.

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