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04-Aug-2020, 09:08 pm

Chelsea & four other Premier League clubs in race for Mbuyamba after Barcelona exit

Xavier Mbuyamba Netherlands

Chelsea are one of a number of Premier League clubs competing to sign teenage defender Xavier Mbuyamba following his exit fromBarcelona.

Chelsea are thought to be in pole position, althoughsources have told Goalthat five of England's top clubs have all made offers to the youngster.

Barcelona agreed to allow Mbuyambato leave for free this summer amid economic concerns at Camp Nou,with savings needing to be madeon wages and future payments despite the centre-back being a highly-rated member of the La Masia system.

Academy director Patrick Kluivert originally signed the MVV Maastricht youngster after he made his debut in the Dutch second division at 16.

Mbuyamba went on trial at Chelsea and Barca, butdecided to join the Catalan giants with a view to appearing for Barcelona's B side and then eventually the first-team.

However, Barcelona B were unwilling to give him a starting role this season despite a positive campaign in the Under-19s, and thathas accelerated his exit.

A divide between the leadership of La Masia and Barca B is one of thereasons cited for the disconnect, withMbuyamba having been willing to consider stayinghad a loan move been properly considered.

Initially, Barcelona asked both Chelsea and Juventus for €2 million after hearing oftheir interest, but with the latter being stocked with plenty of high-level central defenders,Mbuyamba was ultimately put off joining the Serie A champions.

The Blues therefore stand a decent chance of landing him now he isavailable for free, with the English leagues of appeal to ateenager who thinks a Premier League club couldhelp take his game to the next level.

Chelsea have already invested huge sums into their youth team this summer and recentlyannounced their latestlist of academy scholars.

Ahead of the new season,Edwin Andersson has joined from IFK Gothenberg, Jimi Tauriainen from Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi and Bryan Fiabema from Tromso.

Meanwhile,Stoke City's young Dutch striker Mohamed Sankoh trained with the club this week, although no agreement has yet been reached for him to join the west Londoners.

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