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RUMOR: New York City FC interested in Louis Nganioni

The young French defender just might be on Patrick Vieira’s wishlist.

MLS: New York City FC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The transfer talk surrounding New York City FC has gone mostly quiet since the Yaya Touré rumors began and then promptly ended. But it is only a matter of time before said talk sparks into a frenzy. After all, the club did just let go of 11 players on Deadline Day.

After such a purge of personnel, it’s to be expected that a plethora of new faces will soon begin occupying the training ground. And one of those new faces might have been identified.

Katarzyna Przepiórka — a Polish sports journalist based in the U.S. — is reporting that NYCFC is “close” to landing French left back Louis Nganioni.

Nganioni, 22, is currently under contract with Olympique Lyonnais in France’s Ligue 1, and has been in their system since 2010 when he signed with their youth squad. After earning his stripes in the team’s academy, Nganioni was signed to Lyon’s reserve team in 2013 before ultimately making the senior squad in 2015. Since then, however, he has yet to cap for the first team, instead being loaned out twice: first to Dutch club FC Utrecht for the 2015-16 season, then to Stade Brest in France’s Ligue 2 for the 2016-17 season. Nganioni has also appeared at the international level, capping for France’s U16, U17, U18, U19, and U20 sides between 2010 and 2015.

According to his Transfermarkt profile, Nganioni is under contract with Lyon until June 30 next year and is currently valued at the not-so-cheap fee of just over €1.25 million (which currently stands at US$1,469,913).

It’s unclear what role the young French defender could play for NYCFC seeing as they already have two left backs currently under contract: Ronald Matarrita (who just signed a contract extension) and Ben Sweat. Matarrita has been Vieira’s first choice fullback since his arrival at the club prior to the 2016 season, and Sweat emerged as a cult hero following his exceptional performances at the left flank in 2017 after Matarrita twice succumbed to injury. One would have to think that any new signing at the position would go straight to the back of the depth chart.

At this point, Nganioni is still an unknown commodity. While he is young and has made some serious inroads toward an international career, he has had a limited amount of top flight club experience. But Vieira’s track record has been mostly exemplary so far, and he’s had good reasoning for most of his roster decisions. So there is little reason to doubt his judgment should he think that Nganioni can help the club going into 2018.