Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly opted to loan out teenage midfielder Charly Musonda, despite Arsenal being keen to sign the young Belgian on a permanent basis.
The Daily Star claim that Chelsea have rejected an £8.5m bid from the Gunners, while the London Evening Standard say that Musonda is close to joining Marseille on loan, having snubbed a short-term move to Vitesse Arnhem.
Although Musonda must be flattered that Mourinho rates him highly enough to turn down £8.5m, the 18-year-old seems a little frustrated by his current situation at Chelsea, judging by his recent comments.
Musonda has made it clear that he wants regular first-team football in the 2015-16 season. Realistically, he will have to leave Stamford Bridge to get this.
Taking about the possibility of a summer move, Musonda is quoted by the Daily Star as saying: “I’m also well aware of the news, nothing has been done yet.
“I will reflect personally with my family and agent and come to a conclusion that hopefully benefits the continuity of my progression.
“I’m looking forward to playing football next year.”
Arsenal were rebuffed in their attempts to sign Musonda, but a move to the Emirates Stadium could have been great for his career.
Chelsea’s youth system is full of top talent – the Blues won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth league last season.
However, other than club captain John Terry, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the only genuine Chelsea youth product to start a Premier League game for Mourinho’s first-team last term.
Meanwhile, Arsenal handed starts to Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calum Chambers, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott – all of whom were younger than 20 when they joined the Gunners.
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Charly is one of three Musonda brothers to represent Chelsea at youth level in the last decade. Middle sibling Tika – played Under-21 football for the Blues last season, while eldest brother Lamisha was also on the books at Stamford Bridge, only to leave in 2014 to join KV Mechelen.