Chelsea are said to have completed a deal for Independiente del Valle youngster Kendry Paez.
Chelsea completed a January transfer window agreement for Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos, indicating a savvy bit of business in South America.
However, it soon became clear that the Premier League giants had their sights set on another prospect from that region, Paez.
The midfielder will not be 16 until Thursday, but he has already begun playing in senior games for his team.
Paez has one goal and 330 minutes to his belt in Ecuador’s top division, reinforcing the belief that he might one day become a household figure in the country.
Around the time of his debut earlier this year, it was widely reported that Chelsea were ready to close a deal as soon as possible in order to fend off rival interest.
According to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, the teenager’s signing is now finalised and simply awaits a formal announcement.
Kendry Paez can’t play for Chelsea until 2025
According to FIFA rules, Paez will be unable to join Chelsea until he turns 18 in May 2025, leaving him to complete his development at Independiente del Valle.
Nonetheless, Chelsea are said to have agreed to pay up to €20 million (£17.63 million) for Paez, with the majority of the fee allegedly coming in add-ons.
Since their arrival, Chelsea’s owners have made a concerted effort to purchase a diverse range of young players, with the apparent intention of having Mauricio Pochettino lead their development as head coach in the future years.
However, the latest agreement may only have an impact on Chelsea’s summer strategy, in which they must sell a large number of players in order to balance the books.
Although the Paez deal will not be considered immediately, it will need to be facilitated in the future, with Chelsea under intense pressure to return to Europe in 2024-25.
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