Southampton have agreed to a £1.5 million deal to poach one of Chelsea’s best young defenders, Goal can confirm, after having their three-year contract offer to Dynel Simeu accepted.
The Blues have inserted a sizable sell-on fee into the deal with the Saints and the transfer is set to be finalised in the coming days.
Simeu opted against signing a new contract with Chelsea after being offered a fast-tracked pathway into the St Mary's senior set-up.
Who else is leaving?
With Goal having already first revealed that Lewis Bate will join Leeds United, the Blues are set to lose more players from their youth team.
Chelsea's Academy Player of the Year Tino Livramento is closing in on a move to Brighton that could be completed in the coming days. Brighton are expected to beat out the likes of the Saints and Aston Villa, who both made late efforts to get the full-back.
Likewise, Myles Peart-Harris has also rejected a contract with Chelsea with Brentford closing in on a deal.
What's the fuss about with Simeu?
The England Under-19 international has made his presence felt across Chelsea's various youth age groups in the last few years, securing himself a place on the bench last year against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
It was in the same 2019-20 season that Simeu was a key player as Chelsea won the Premier League 2 title.
The centre-back is a strong leader having captained Chelsea's development squad for much of last season and England at various youth levels. He is also tall, fast and good on the ball.
Born in Cameroon, the teen star has so far opted for England but he could yet make the switch to the African nation in the future.
Having only signed for Chelsea at the age of 13, Simeu is a late bloomer compared to most of the players at Cobham's training facility.
“I came from a Sunday league team in Southampton and with my background, I didn’t know many footballers and didn’t even know how Chelsea Academy worked, I thought playing here was unrealistic,” he told the club's in-house media channel earlier this year.
“I admired Portsmouth and Southampton because that’s all I knew, I always dreamed of becoming a footballer but my family and I never thought it was realistic, then when I got the chance everything happened quickly and it was unbelievable.”