Brighton ‘close to signing’ Chelsea starlet in academy exodus

Date published: Wednesday 21st July 2021 1:57 - James Holland

Brighton Chelsea Timo Livramento Graham Potter F365

Brighton are pushing to sign Chelsea’s academy player of the year Tino Livramento, according to reports.

The 18-year-old right-back could be available this summer after deciding to reject a contract extension at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea don’t want to lose one of their academy gems but might have no choice as he eyes first-team opportunities.

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Goal claims that Brighton are in the final stages of negotiating a deal for Livramento.

They just need to agree on a fee with Chelsea before the signing can go ahead.

The Blues will likely include a sell-on clause, in case the defender secures a major move in the future.

However, a buy-back clause isn’t thought to be on the table.

Livramento could initially join Brighton’s U23 side, although if he impresses he will be promoted to the first team.

The young Englishman would then rival Tariq Lamptey for a place in Graham Potter’s starting eleven.

Livramento is also attracting interest from Southampton, Aston Villa, RB Leipzig and AC Milan. Despite this, Brighton remain in pole position to secure his services.

The potential transfer is similar to the capture of Lamptey in January last year.

The 20-year-old came through Chelsea’s youth setup but went on to sign a three-and-a-half year deal at the Amex stadium.

Livramento is joined by team-mate Lewis Bate in wanting to leave London.

The 18-year-old central midfielder has rejected the offer of a contract extension and is now hoping to join Leeds United.

He sees no obvious route to the first team as Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are all standing in his way.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will also benefit from Billy Gilmour next term, once he returns from a season-long loan spell at Norwich City.

In addition to Leeds, Bate is attracting interest from Liverpool, West Ham, Leicester and Brighton, although the Seagulls’ priority remains Livramento.

Some academy coaches at Chelsea view Bate as a better prospect than Gilmour was when he was 18.

Chelsea have arguably the best academy in the country but have a history of letting talented stars leave.

Marc Guehi recently joined Crystal Palace on a five-year deal, which could prove to be a shrewd piece of business for the Eagles.

Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku are other notable examples.

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