Chelsea are reportedly leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko, with a new employee playing a huge part in their pursuit.
The 18-year-old is one of the highest-rated teenagers in world football, along with teammate Jude Bellingham.
Having only turned 18 in November, Moukoko went to the World Cup with Germany, who were knocked out in the group stage.
He is out of contract at the end of the season and several elite European clubs are battling to secure his signature.
Barcelona have been strongly linked – which is no surprise given their recent track record of signing free agents – with Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich also believed to be interested.
This would certainly be a great opportunity for several clubs with such a promising player available for no transfer fee.
Moukoko is now able to negotiate a pre-contract with clubs with his Dortmund deal approaching its conclusion.
The teenage striker’s scoring record is absolutely spectacular. He netted 141 goals for the German club at youth level in only 88 appearances.
Chelsea have a trump card in their pursuit of Moukoko having appointed former RB Leipzig employee Christopher Vivell as their new technical director.
Vivell ‘perfectly dominates the German market’ and can assist the Blues in their pursuit of the wonderkid, according to Spanish outlet Sport.
Graham Potter’s side are now ‘in pole’ position to land Moukoko following the appointment of the German director.
Dortmund have apparently offered the striker €5million per year, ‘plus variables’, with his representative ‘demanding’ a transfer bonus.
The German club are hoping Moukoko will tell them what he intends to do at the end of the season so they can sign a replacement this month.
A solution seems ‘imminent’ amid reported interest from across Europe.
Chelsea are expected to be very busy this month with AS Monaco centre-half Benoit Badiashile reportedly close to joining for around £35m.
They have already completed the signing of David Datro Fofana and will probably send him out on loan for the rest of the season.
The Blues’ top targets after getting Badiashile through the door are believed to be Shakhter Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk and Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
There have been lots of reports about Fernandez this week. It was believed that Chelsea had offered €127m to sign him, though Fabrizio Romano denied this, insisting they bid €85m.
Mudryk, on the other hand, has been a top Arsenal target for several months and the Gunners have made two bids to sign him.
The first was obviously rejected and it is believed the Ukrainian club will turn down the second offer.
Shakhtar reportedly want €100m for their star man, taking note of Ajax’s deal to sell Antony to Manchester United for the same price.
Arsenal looked like they would quietly negotiate a deal to sign Mudryk, driving the price down to something more respectable before getting it over the line.
However, Chelsea have absolutely f**ked that plan up and have made the whole negotiation process a lot more difficult.
Shakhtar are now playing the market and trying to get as much money as possible for the winger, knowing that Chelsea will probably bid higher than Mikel Arteta’s side.
Arsenal seem adamant they will not be drawn into a bidding war and will probably not go any higher than €80m.
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