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Bayern & Barcelona-linked Adeyemi explains Chelsea rejection and says he wants to win Champions League

14:56 GMT 17/01/2021
Karim Adeyemi Red Bull Salzburg 2020-21
The 18-year-old isn't getting ahead of himself at Red Bull Salzburg but has lofty ambitions for the future - despite saying no to the Blues

Red Bull Salzburg starlet Karim Adeyemi says he wants to play for a club that can win the Champions League, but he rejected Chelsea in the past because the move came too soon.

Adeyemi, now 18, has been linked with a move away from Salzburg, the finishing school where Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane among others have polished their skills.

For now, the youngster says he is fully focused on his goals with Salzburg, but he has lofty ambitions for the future. Bayern Munich and Barcelona are among the clubs to have been linked with a move.

Chelsea invited Adeyemi to their Cobham training base in 2018 while he was playing for German side SpVgg Unterhaching, but he opted instead to leave his home country for the promise of first-team football in Austria.

“First of all, it is important to me that I play regularly.” Adeyemi told Sport1. “My focus is currently on the Austrian league. I am very happy that I have so much time here. I am fully focused on the task in Salzburg.

"I'm very happy that I can play here in Salzburg and that I get my minutes on a regular basis. Every moment on the pitch is precious. 

"I want to play in a club where I feel comfortable. Of course I dream of a Champions League win. It would be great to play for a club that regularly competes to win the Champions League.

“But that's not what I have in mind right now. For me it is important that I develop myself further in Salzburg.”

Adeyemi shone when sent out on loan to Salzburg’s feeder FC Liefering club and, after scoring for Salzburg in the Champions League and at youth level for Germany, is hotly anticipated as a potential star of the future.

Despite the growing hype around his potential, Adeyemi says he has managed to keep his feet on the ground.

“It's not that difficult to stay on the grounded,” he said. “I haven't achieved anything yet, even though I'm now playing in the first division in Austria.

“But I find it quite normal that I do not answer. My parents and family support me a lot in this. My old club, Unterhaching, taught me that too. But even at Salzburg we players are kept on the ground. There is also no reason why I should rise above other people. Everybody is equal.”

Adeyemi turns 19 soon, the same age his predecessor Haaland was when he left Salzburg for Borussia Dortmund.

The youngster doesn’t want to describe Haaland as a role model, but says there is plenty he can learn from his successful career so far.

“Is Erling Haaland a role model? That is difficult to say. But of course you as a player have in mind which ones are best at your position,” he noted.

“Haaland is doing a great job at Borussia Dortmund, he has developed very well and has grown in many areas. I can cut a slice of that for myself. I can't compare myself to Haaland, I need to go my own way. But you can always learn something from such a good player.”