Chelsea are chasing the signature of impressive Angers youngster Mohamed-Ali Cho, according to reports in France – but they face competition from two European powerhouses.
Cho does not turn 18 until January, but is already a prominent player for Angers. He has played in 13 Ligue 1 matches so far this season, scoring two goals. It has followed his 21 league appearances from last term.
The centre-forward is progressing at a good rate for his age and many clubs will not want to miss out before his value rises too much further.
Formerly part of the Everton academy, Cho has suitors back in England (whom he is eligible to represent at international level despite being born in France). Last month, Chelsea’s interest was revealed.
However, it later emerged that Atletico Madrid are ready to rival Chelsea for Cho. Indeed, the number of clubs looking at him is only going to increase.
A new report from L’Equipe has confirmed that Chelsea and Atletico both possess interest. They have been looking at him since the summer and will only have been encouraged by the way he has started the season.
But now, they have also been joined in the transfer battle by AC Milan. The Italian side have scouted Cho recently and again will likely have been impressed.
Aware of the interest in his services, Cho has chosen a lawyer to help him with his next move, along with his family.
There is a good chance Angers will sell him in the summer due to their financial situation. Besides, they only have Cho under contract until 2023.
The teenager will then have to pick his next club carefully. Chelsea would take him with the idea of potentially loaning him out again so he could build experience.
But the idea of joining the European champions for the long-term would be an interesting one for him to consider.
Likewise, Atletico and Milan are both clubs of grand stature, so Cho has plenty to weigh up.
Therefore, he is surrounding himself with the right kind of advisors. It will be a waiting game to see who they pick should any offers come in.
The report does not make Angers’ asking price for Cho clear. But Chelsea will be hopeful of winning the race to sign him regardless.
Chelsea target another teenage talent
After spending big in the past two summer transfer windows, Chelsea have made their ambitions clear.
Their success in the Champions League last season was justification of their spending and proof they are on the right path. But success can be fleeting in sport and there is always the need to plan for the future.
With that in mind, it seems Chelsea are looking to the long-term in the transfer market.
In addition to Cho, another teenage talent to be linked with Chelsea is Florian Wirtz.
The attacking midfielder is currently starring for Bayer Leverkusen. At the age of 18, he is already attracting interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.
But El Nacional have revealed that the two clubs to show most interest in Wirtz are Chelsea and Real Madrid.
They could also face competition from Barcelona, depending on their financial situation. Their appointment of Xavi as head coach, though, could help persuade the player himself.
Chelsea, as they have shown, are more capable of meeting high asking prices, though. Therefore, they could take a step towards signing another of the continent’s most promising youngsters.