Chelsea have agreed to pay £20m to sign Aston Villa teenager Carney Chukwuemeka, who was a star of England Under-19s’ European Championship success this summer.
Chukwuemeka rejected an offer to become the highest-paid teenager in the country by Villa, effectively forcing the Midlands club to accept Chelsea’s offer.
The 18-year-old midfielder would have been able to sign for a foreign club for nothing in January, having been linked with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.
But Chelsea agreed to pay big money to take Chukwuemeka, who is said to have met head coach Thomas Tuchel, now.
Both clubs will feel they got a good deal with Chelsea signing one of the highest-rated youngsters in Europe and Villa securing a big fee for a youngster who was supposed to leave on a free.
Apart from trying to make senior signings, Chelsea’s new owners have made a number of high-profile young signings with Omari Hutchinson from Arsenal and goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina agreeing a deal.
Chelsea have made inquiries regarding Kyle Walker-Peters, but it remains to be seen whether they will try to meet Southampton’s valuation of the right-back.
As Chelsea look to complete the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton and consider testing Leicester City’s resolve over Wesley Fofana with a firm bid, Chelsea are looking at a number of options to strengthen Tuchel’s squad.
Southampton are confident they will keep hold of Walker-Peters, who they value in the region of £30-35m after seeing Arsenal pay £32m to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City.
Chelsea, who have agreed personal terms with Brighton left-back Cucurella, want a right-sided defender having already signed Kalidou Koulibaly.
But Southampton’s initial valuation of Walker-Peters could be seen on the upside by Chelsea’s owners, who have not made a bid for the 25-year-old and have called a number of players.
Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries is a target and it has emerged that Chelsea have also held talks regarding Walker-Peters, who earned an England call-up for the friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast in March.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel wants more cover in the wing-back areas after losing Reece James and Ben Chilwell to injuries last season, while James can also play on the right of a back three.
Just as Cucurella will give Tuchel plenty of options and cover on the left, Dumfries or Walker-Peters will give Chelsea similar strength on the right.
Leicester’s insistence that Fofana is not for sale has yet to put Chelsea off, who may have been encouraged by the Frenchman’s activity on social media.
Fofana removed Leicester City from his Twitter bio and posted cryptic messages on Instagram which led Chelsea fans to believe he wanted to move to Stamford Bridge.
Sources claim Fofana has a gentlemen’s agreement with Leicester that the club will listen to “fair” offers for him, although it is unclear whether that deal will come into force this summer or next.
Leicester value Fofana at over £80million and are concerned they will struggle to replace him at this stage of the transfer window, but Chelsea are considering making a bid.