According to reports from The Telegraph, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United could all launch bids for Chelsea starlet Charly Musonda – depending on how imminent talks over his future at Stamford Bridge unfold.
The Belgium U21 international is regarded as the most exciting product within the Blues’ academy ranks and has been billed by The Telegraph as ‘more talented than either Eden Hazard or Kevin De Bruyne were at the same age’.
But the attacking midfielder is growing increasingly concerned that Chelsea can’t offer the first-team football his development requires, having rejected the chance to join Vitesse Arnhem on loan during the summer to try and break into Jose Mourinho’s senior squad.
It has become a recurring criticism of the west London outfit over the last decade. Although their academy set-up is one of the best and most successful in England – having won four FA Youth Cups, a Premier Reserve League title, a U21 Premier League title and a UEFA Youth League title since 2010 – captain John Terry is its last product to become a permanence at first-team level. He made his debut way back in 1998.
The 19-year-old’s apparent disillusionment has been well-documented for some time. Father Charly Musonda Senior, a former Zambian international, urged the Belgian prodigy to quit Chelsea during the summer. He said in June; “Charly must absolutely leave Chelsea and, since January, Monaco have been trying to sign him.”
The youngster is now expected to hold talks with the Chelsea hierarchy over his future in the next few weeks, with the prospect of a contract extension and a loan move likely on the agenda. But if Musonda rejects a new deal and the chance to go out on loan, Chelsea may be forced to cash-in before his value depreciates – even though his current terms don’t expire until 2019.
Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United are both known admirers of the youth international, who boasts an unconfirmed 25 goals and 42 caps for Belgium from the U15 to U21 age groups. Arsenal reportedly launched a shock £8.5million bid in June, whilst reports last month linked United with a €15million offer.
The Telegraph claim the Red Devils and the Gunners have ‘monitored Musonda’s progress for a number of years’, along with Premier League title rivals Manchester City and ‘a host of big clubs on the continent’, and could launch bids if the imminent talks do not go well.