Chelsea set to sign 15 year old wonderkid dubbed the 'Next Maradona' - report

Kendry Paez
(Image credit: Getty)

Chelsea's relentless spending under new owner Todd Boehly looks set to continue, with the Blues reportedly seeing a bid for a 15-year-old wonderkid accepted by his Colombian club. 

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reports that the Blues will sign Kendry Paez when the player turns 18 in 2025, after a £17.6 million was green-lit by top-flight club Independiente this week. 

Paez, who is 5ft 8, fast and stocky, is known for his close control, vision, passing and finishing, and has drawn comparisons with Diego Maradona by South American journalists. The midfielder has made three senior appearances for his club this season, scoring once.

The Ecuadorian is tipped for superstardom and Chelsea believe he could achieve that status at Stamford Bridge. He has reportedly been offered a six-year deal by the Blues, and will possibly be loaned back to South America for a couple of years before being given a chance in the Premier League. 

Chelsea have spent close to £600m on new players and coaches since Boehly bought the London-based club in the summer of 2022. So far, results have not gone according to plan, with Chelsea's galacticos currently sitting 11th in the Premier League. Focus is now on bringing in a new permanent manager, after Frank Lampard replaced Graham Potter on an interim basis in early April. 

But that hasn't stopped scouts from identifying new players to sign, and Chelsea believe they have snapped up a gem in Paez. 

Paez has been capped 10 times by Ecuador's U17s, scoring three times, but is said to be close to being called up by his country's senior side. 

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.