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Brighton ahead of Chelsea, Arsenal for Nantes wonderkid Batista Mendy

Brighton are leading the race for Nantes wonderkid Batista Mendy.

The Sun says the Seagulls are poised to pip Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal to French defensive prodigy Mendy.

The Nantes centre-back, 18, has won rave reviews for his displays with the Ligue 1 club's academy sides.

Mendy has won three France Under-18 caps, and played 20 times in all for his country's junior sides.

But he has refused to accept Nantes' offer of a professional deal - and reports in France claim he has reached a pre-contract agreement with Brighton.

The versatile youngster, who can also operate in central midfield, will be free to move to the Amex Stadium in July.

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Paul Vegas

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