The Argentine wonderkid might find himself on the fringes at Monaco next year after their spending spree, and Manchester United and Chelsea could have the perfect chance to tempt him to the Premier League.
With Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez already agreeing moves to Monaco, and Radamel Falcao seemingly on the brink of joining them, it is easy to forget about the players that the Ligue 1 side already have on their books.
Among them is 18-year-old Lucas Ocampos, who joined them last summer as one of the most exciting prospects in South America. In light of recent events, that move should have been seen the first demonstration of Monaco’s ambition, as they were able to sign Ocampos reportedly from under the noses of several Champions League sides despite being in Ligue 2.
Chelsea and Manchester United were among the teams who had apparently been monitoring Ocampos when he was at River Plate, and perhaps with all the madness currently surrounding Monaco, they might feel that they could yet lure him to the Premier League.
Ocampos played a big part in Monaco’s promotion this season, but he was not an ever-present in their side, and his appearances next season could be limited by the battalion of major stars they have brought in.
Tall and strong despite his youth, Ocampos can play on either wing or through the centre, and has frequently been compared with Cristiano Ronaldo. He might have hoped to establish himself at Monaco as they grew into one of the major forces of European football, as they seem determined to, but the 18-year-old could also fear his development being stalled in a team suddenly full of stars.
There are plenty of clubs who would be delighted to prise Ocampos away from Monaco, and the Ligue 1 side themselves will likely be keen to keep him, however Chelsea and Manchester United might have the pull to attract the youngster, especially if he sees a route to first team action at a Champions League club.
It is almost impossible to predict what Monaco will do in the rest of the transfer window, and with doubt still surrounding their Ligue 1 place there could be plenty of twists in their tale yet. Amid the madness of their recruitment drive, Manchester United and Chelsea, and indeed several other top sides, might be keen to try and prise Ocampos away from the principality.
image: © sdhansay