Joris Gnagnon latest to join Ivory Coast recruitment drive
Stade Rennais defender Joris Gnagnon has opted to commit his international future to Ivory Coast, according to reports in France, and has spurned an invitation to join the French U-20 team.
The Elephants, African champions in 2015, have undertaken a significant recruitment drive in recent months following Marc Wilmots' appointment as national team boss on March 21.
The former Belgium manager replaced Michel Dussuyer following the West Africans' miserable title defence at the 2017 Nations Cup, and has begun his reign by securing the services of several young talents plying their trade in Europe.
Following on from the addition of Wilfried Zaha, who was convinced by the Ivorian Football Federation to end his international future with England and join the Elephants in late 2016, the Ivorians have added Chelsea wonderkid Jeremie Boga -- currently on loan with Granada -- as well as Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Maxwel Cornet and Seko Fofana.
Now, according to L'Equipe, 20-year-old Gnagnon has joined Wilmots' revolution.
The French source report that the Rennes defender was handed his first call-up to France's U-20 side in the end of March, ahead of the Four Nations tournament, but won't represent Les Bleuets at the Youth World Cup in South Korea later this month.
The powerhouse had been tipped for a spot in the heart of France's defence, but has now opted to commit his future to the Ivory Coast, the land of his parents.
Bondy-born Gnagnon featured for various sides on the outskirts of Paris during his youth career before joining Rennes in 2014, he made his Ligue 1 debut against Troyes in January 2016 and has come into his own this term.
The defender has featured 25 times in the French top flight this season, scoring once and proving himself to be a commanding presence in the air.