You are probably reading this and thinking "Who the hell is Nampalys Mendy anyway?" and you would have good reason, as he has slipped under the radar whilst playing for Monaco in the French Ligue 2 last season. No less than Claudio Ranieri, the coach of Monaco, has described Mendy as a carbon copy of Claud Makelele, though lacking a massive physique, he makes up for it with tenacious tackling; in short, he is exactly the type of combative midfielder Manchester United have desperately been looking for since Roy Keane.

What makes his story more interesting is that he has been called up to all levels of the international squad almost by accident, having to make up numbers in the squad in the first place. It was only when he started playing that the French authorities realised that they had a special talent on their hands. Mendy has always been forced to work harder than his team-mates and opponents to gain recognition on the pitch because of his perceived lack of height and power.

Mendy will be at home at Manchester United as his countryman, Patrice Evra, is also originally from Senegal and will be able to help him settle in when the deal is completed. What makes this deal more sweet for United is that he comes on a free transfer as he was allowed to let his contract run down, with Ranieri confident that he would automatically re-sign for Monaco now that they are back in Ligue 1 and have signed some stellar players in recent weeks. However, Mendy has made clear that he wants to go to Manchester United and play in the Premier League.

Heralded as a future captain of France, Mendy has played for France at every level from under-17s to under-21. Expect to see him at Old Trafford very soon.

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