Chelsea are lining up a move for teenage starlet Hugo Ekitike, who has been likened to Kylian Mbappe.
Those are the rumours from Foot Mercato who say that the Reims star, who has scored eight times in 17 games this season has reached the European champions' radar, as well as being linked with a move on Tyneside with Newcastle United.
The Blues may have to pay up to €40m for the French gem too (around £33m), who has more goals than any other player under the age of 20 in Europe's top five leagues.
Despite the wealth of forwards and attackers that Chelsea have at their disposal, including the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, the club have been linked with forwards in recent weeks and months – and now Tuchel may get a chance to work with a youngster from Ligue 1.
Most notably, Tuchel signed Ousmane Dembele while manager of Borussia Dortmund from the French top tier. The Rennes winger went on to have an incredible season for BVB, eventually bringing in over £100m in transfer fee when he was sold to Barcelona.
Ekitike is a completely different player: the 19-year-old is 6'2 and primarily a forward who can play on the shoulder of a defender, while his hold-up play is good, too. Tuchel would no doubt relish the opportunity of developing a few unpolished gems in his squad – as he has tried with the likes of Malang Sarr, Billy Gilmour and Trevoh Chalobah.
Chelsea could well have a clearout this summer, with so much uncertainty around the futures of the likes of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. With that could come a new system and formation, offering new ideas for the attackers: recently, Tuchel has tried building up with a four-at-the-back shape, as opposed to three.
Ekitike is valued at £5.4m on Transfermarkt.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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