Chelsea are progressing talks with Fulham over a £30million deal for highly-rated Fulham teenager Luke Harris, according to a report.
The Blues have a solid reputation for developing youth talent which remains true in the current squad. While Reece James has become a nailed-on starter at right-back, Mason Mount is also a key figure.
But, the quest for the next generation of youngsters is a key focus at Stamford Bridge.
And according to the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have identified Fulham’s 17-year-old star Harris as an ideal signing in that regard.
The midfielder has yet to play a first-team game for the Cottagers. However, Fulham’s chief academy scout Malcom Elias has reportedly earmarked him as the club’s most promising talent in his age group.
The feeling is mutual for Wales too, with Robert Page naming Harris in his matchday squad for Thursday’s Nations League defeat to Belgium.
What’s more, there are also serious finances being bandied about over his transfer. Chelsea are reportedly in ‘advanced discussions’ with Fulham about a £30million deal for Harris.
The Stamford Bridge club are planning to pay an initial £25million for the youngster. An extra £5million could take the move to £30million.
Chelsea hope to formally strike the deal with their London rivals in the January transfer window.
The report claims that Chelsea’s interest stems from an Under-21s game between Chelsea and Fulham in August. Harris netted a hat-trick – all three goals in fact – as Fulham beat their rivals in league action.
And after scoring again against Wolves at the start of September, Fulham handed Harris his first professional contract.
But, he may not be at Craven Cottage long if Chelsea get their way.
Chelsea, Luke Harris move has Liverpool echoes
Chelsea’s move for Harris comes after Liverpool raided Fulham for two of their brightest talents.
Harvey Elliott arrived at Anfield first in 2019 and progressed on loan at Blackburn. After an ankle injury cut short his development last year, Elliott has been a regular starter for Jurgen Klopp this term.
Fabio Carvalho’s development at Liverpool has proved a much quicker affair.
The Reds snapped the midfielder up from Fulham in the summer after just missing out on him in January and he has hit the ground running in his debut season.
Chelsea will be hoping Harris can have the same impact so early on if he moves across the capital.
Midfielder an exciting prospect
Chelsea have made it their aim to future-proof their midfield of late – and signing Harris could prove a strong step forwards in that regard.
The Blues signed Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa and Inter’s Cesare Casadei in the most recent transfer window.
They are still waiting for a first-team chance, but they will no doubt get it under Graham Potter’s stewardship.
And with Harris catching the eye, he could yet make a similar step up to Chelsea.
The difference with Liverpool’s raids for Fulham’s top talents is that they did not pay £30million for Elliott or Carvalho – not even close.
As a result, there will be much more of a spotlight on Harris if he moves across London.
Fulham boss Marco Silva recently insisted that Harris will get minutes and games if he stays at Fulham.
But, the chance to move to a club higher up in the Premier League – rather than a side seemingly to-ing and fro-ing between the Premier League and the Championship – may prove a step too exciting to turn down.