Chelsea have agreed a £20million transfer for a Northampton teen after contract standoff. The Blues and Aston Villa have reached an deal for Carney Chukwuemeka, who was born in Austria to Nigerian parents but raised in Northampton.
The teenager, who played a starring role in England Under-19s European Championship triumph this summer, is into the final 12 months of his contract at Villa Park and was reluctant to sign a new deal.
Following his performances for the Young Lions earlier this summer, he has attracted a host of European interest. The Villans had also hoped that he would eventually sign a new deal – having initially opened talks with the player’s representatives last October.
But they failed to extend the young star’s deal, leading to a standoff between his representatives and the club both over the terms and his progression at first-team level.
With boss Steven Gerrard unwilling to guarantee playing time and Chukwuemeka’s camp unwilling to sign on the terms offered, the 18-year-old was frozen out by Gerrard this summer.
The youngster was left out of the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and has been training with the under-23s, reports the Daily Mirror.
Both clubs have confirmed that he has been given permission to travel to London to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical ahead of moving to join Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Tuchel met with the player last week to persuade him that he would get playing time at Chelsea and that it would be the best place for his development, rather than heading abroad.
Barcelona, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund were among the sides who had been keeping tabs on his situation, but were put off by Villa’s price tag.
Chukwuemeka joined the Villa academy from Northampton Town in 2016 before making his senior debut in May 2021. He made 11 Premier League appearances for Villa last term.