- Paez highly rated South American talent
- Chelsea nearing verbal agreement with Independiente
- Midfielder would join Blues upon turning 18
WHAT HAPPENED? That's according to recent information from journalist Fabrizio Romano, who notes that any deal will see the 2007-born midfielder link up with Chelsea upon turning 18. Paez is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in South America. The 15-year-old recorded 16 goals in 18 matches at youth level for Independiente in 2022 and was awarded Player of the Tournament in the Salzburg Next Gen competition last year.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The transfer would be considered a considerable coup for Chelsea given that several of Europe's elite level clubs were in for the Ecuadorian. There were thought to be up to a dozen potential suitors in the Premier League alone, including the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle.
AND WHAT'S MORE: For Chelsea, Paez's imminent arrival continues their transfer policy under the club's new ownership, which has focused on bringing in young stars with a focus on future endeavours. Eleven of the 16 players that were brought in over the two windows this campaign were aged 23 or below, although fellow South American star Andrey Santos has seen his introduction delayed half-a-season due to work permit issues.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT? While negotiations over a deal for Paez are thought to be at an advanced stage, confirmation from both clubs is still outstanding.