Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is reportedly closing in on completing the signing of Derby County midfield starlet Max Bird.
A £4.8million deal is said to be in the offing for the impressive 19-year-old, who Lampard handed a full league debut to last season, in a 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
The report adds that the Rams are expected to resist any advances for one of their top young players, and if they were to sell they would want significantly more than the reported near £5m figure that is being quoted.
Bird has been a huge success story at Pride Park this season, building up a strong midfield partnership with Wayne Rooney after Christmas for Phillip Cocu’s men.
Links to big-name clubs for Bird have come as no surprise to Derby, who also boast the likes of Louie Sibley and Jason Knight on their books, but it would appear that Chelsea may have to up their offer to get their man.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has conceded that Leicester have little to no chance of signing Philippe Coutinho amid claims Barcelona had put the Brazilian midfielder up for sale.
The attacking midfielder left Liverpool for Camp Nou in January 2018, but the move has not quite gone to plan, leading to him being loaned out to Bayern Munich this season.
And with Bayern opting not to activate their option not to sign Coutinho on a permanent basis, speculation has strongly linked with him a return to the Premier League – most notably to Chelsea – and especially with Barcelona looking to cast aside a number of big names to help with their squad rebuilding.
However, Leicester have also been mentioned as potential suitors for the Brazilian star, especially given the Foxes will likely be able to offer Coutinho Champions League football next season and owing to the fact that it was Rodgers who brought the player to England in the first place.
However, in response to the rumours, Rodgers appears to have ended all talk of seeing Coutinho in a Liverpool shirt next season. Read more…