The Pierre-Atîts twins, Jean (left) and Marcel
By Craig Prawn
The Master Baker, Mark Warburton, is hopeful of making Rangers fans forget their Hogmanay Old Firm woes as he plots the sensational double signing of the twins dubbed “The French de Boers.”
The French wonder kids, from the small town of Camembert-sur-Merde in Brittany, are attracting attention from a host of top European clubs but Warbs has jumped to the head of the queue after watching the pair star for their local side.
The Pierre-Atîts started their careers at the Paris St. Germain Academy where they quickly established themselves and starred in the Next Gen series, invented by Warbs to give Europe’s top youngster a taste of the Champions League experience.
Jean, who is equally comfortable up front or in the No10 role, was the driving force as Paris St Germain reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2013. Then aged 16, the youngster dubbed “The French Ronald de Boer” caught the eye with his quick feet, close control and cannonball shot. Pacey and with an eye for goal, he was the subject of an eye-watering €20m bid from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013. PSG told the Spaniards this was far below their valuation of the player.
Brother Marcel, the elder of the two by 20 minutes, also starred in PSG’s triumphal march to the Next Gen semi-final. Quickly dubbed, “The French Frank de Boer” by l’Equip, he was the ball-playing defensive rock of the PSG youth teams.
We spoke to French journalist Jean-Paul Douxieme who broke the story on his blog, Football Francaise. Douxieme told us:
“These two have phenomenal potential. The sky is the limit for them in terms of what they can achieve in the game. They had the world at their feet at PSG and were wanted by Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but coming from a sleepy little town in Brittany, they struggled to really settle in Paris and eventually decided to return home and play for their local side.
PSG begged them to stay and offered them €2m a year each to persuade them to stick it out in Paris, but they had made their minds up and that was it.
Now they are both 19 and ready to return to the big time. They both feel that joining Mark Warburton at Rangers would be the perfect move to re-launch their careers.”
The Pierre-Atîts are expected to fly in to Glasgow tomorrow morning for signing talks and a medical ahead of what would be a double-signing to strike fear into the hearts of the other 10 clubs chasing Celtic at the top of the SPFL Premiership.
The highly-rated French youngsters will go a long way to not only clinching a European slot for the Ibrox club, but also laying the foundations for a title charge next season.
Douxieme is in no doubt:
“Celtic have been very strong this season, but with the Pierre-Atîts in their side, Rangers would be unstoppable and could even make the Champions League the season after next. That’s how good these two boys are.
Scottish football will never have seen anything like them. Jean can unlock the tightest defence with his passing and ability to ghost past defenders, while Marcel is unparalleled in his ability to marshal a defence. In the air he is virtually unbeatable, he is unbelievably hard-tackling, and he has the ball-playing skills to control the game from the back. His long balls out of defence will transform Rangers’ system.”
The twins’ father, Gaston, is excited by the prospect of his sons joining the Gers. A family friend told the Decord, “Gaston came to Glasgow in 1976 to cheer on St Etienne in the European Cup Final. He fell in love with the city and always said if his sons made it as pros he would love them to play in Glasgow.”
Decord Sport understands this stunning double signing should be finalised by Tuesday, with Warbs keen to further strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window as he implements his plan to make Rangers the top team in Scotland and a force in Europe once more.