Chelsea report: Blues face competition from Liverpool in race for prodigious MLS winger

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter, close-up shot
(Image credit: Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Chelsea (opens in new tab) are reportedly going head-to-head with Liverpool (opens in new tab) to try and sign Chicago Fire wonderkid Jhon Duran.

The 18-year-old Colombian winger has made a big impact during his first season in MLS, having joined the Fire this January from Envigado in his homeland.

And reports in the USA (via the Mirror) (opens in new tab) have named the Blues and Reds as two clubs tracking Duran – who's currently valued at just under £2m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

Chicago Fire winger Jhon Duran during New England Revolution 0-0 Chicago Fire in MLS on 31 August, 2022 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, United States of America

Jhon Duran in action for Chicago Fire (Image credit: Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Duran made his senior international debut last month, coming on for Radamel Falcao in a 4-1 friendly win over Guatemala.

He earned his second cap three days later, replacing Liverpool's Luis Diaz as Colombia came from 2-0 down to beat Mexico 3-2.

Fire boss Ezra Hendrickson has spoken of Duran's immense potential. Following Saturday's 3-2 victory away to FC Cincinnati – in which Duran scored what proved to be the decisive goal, bagging his third brace of the campaign – he said (opens in new tab):

"He is a player that, once he gets it all together ... can be a really, really special player. He has all the tools."

Close-up shot of Chicago Fire winger Jhon Duran

Duran joined Chicago Fire on a three-year deal (Image credit: Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Should Duran go on to sign for Chelsea, he'll follow in the footsteps of international teammates Juan Cuadrado – who he played alongside Mexico – and the aforementioned Falcao.

Duran has scored eight goals and provided three assists in 26 MLS appearances (13 of which have been starts) for a struggling Fire side this term.

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Duran might not be the only player whose signature Chelsea battle Liverpool for: the Blues have also been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund and England star Jude Bellingham (opens in new tab).

Chelsea are also reportedly leading the race for RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku (opens in new tab) – and are even said to have arranged a private medical for the France international (opens in new tab).

Meanwhile, it's been suggested that Arsenal wide man Gabriel Martinelli could make a surprise switch to Stamford Bridge (opens in new tab).

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...