Manchester United have been urged to sign Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham by Jermaine Pennant, who has compared the midfielder to a “young Steven Gerrard”.
Bellingham, 16, made his senior debut in August and already has 31 appearances for his Championship employers.
In that time, he has been involved in seven goals and attracted the attention of scouts from across Europe.
United and Chelsea are two clubs said to be leading the chase; one report claimed that both sides are keen on paying as much as £50m for the midfielder.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Pennant outlined why he is surprised that other sides have not shown as much interest in Bellingham.
“He’s a fantastic player. He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard,” the pundit said.
“He throws himself about, he can get up and down the pitch, he can score goals and assist goals, he’s got trickery. He’s a fantastic young player.
“And at 16 years of age he’s doing this week in, week out in the Championship.
“The Championship is a very, very strong, demanding and physical league, and he’s throwing his body about; he’s strong and he’s only going to get stronger.
“I’m surprised there are not more teams interested in him than just Chelsea and Manchester United because he is a really special talent.
“What he can achieve in his career is frightening.”
Bellingham represents England at Under-17 level and has two goals in three games for his country.
In other news, Chelsea have confirmed an agreement with Ajax to sign winger Hakim Ziyech in the summer.
Ziyech has become one of Ajax’s best players over the past few seasons and was influential in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
The deal is an important one for Blues boss Frank Lampard, who failed to make any new additions during the January transfer window.