Chelsea are ready to enter a bidding war with Manchester United to bring Birmingham City youngster Jude Bellingham to the Premier League, according to reports.
The 16-year-old, who made his senior debut in August, has made 31 appearances so far this season, chipping in four goals and four assists alongside several stellar performances.
Chelsea and United – as well as Manchester City – have all been linked with the England Under-17 international over the past few weeks.
According to The Sun, the race to sign Bellingham has ramped up, with Chelsea now willing to go head-to-head with United with a £50million offer for the midfielder.
The newspaper says that both sides will offer £35million for the player as well as £15million in add-ons.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to base his Old Trafford rebuild around young, hungry talent and Bellingham fits the bill.
What’s more, the pursuit of the midfielder will not affect the more senior targets – the likes of Jadon Sancho and James Maddison – that he is after.
As for Chelsea, Frank Lampard has largely had to rely on young talent such as Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori and would be very much open to adding Bellingham to his ranks.
Chelsea and United meet in the Premier League on Monday following the conclusion of the Premier League’s winter break.
In other news, Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag has all but confirmed that Chelsea are close to signing winger Hakim Ziyech.
Reports in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Wednesday claimed that the Blues had reached a verbal agreement with Ajax to sign the 26-year-old.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Ten Hag said: “A transfer was coming, we expected it to happen. I actually already expected this one or two years earlier. And each time it was: ‘wow, he stayed again’.
“We are just happy that we will still have him until the end of the season.”