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Chelsea lead Real Madrid and Juventus in battle for Barcelona youngster Mbuyamba, agent reveals

Chelsea are leading a host of top European teams in the battle to sign Xavier Mbuyamba from Barcelona, his agent says.

The 18-year-old defender joined the Catalan side from Dutch outfit MVV Maastricht last August, but he is already considering his future at the club.

His agent, Carlos Barros, says the European giants are lining up to get a look at the Netherlands Under-19 international, but Chelsea have made the biggest impression. 

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"Almost all major clubs in Europe have asked about Xavier," Barros said to Voetbal International. 

"Real Madrid are also there, they are serious about their youth system, but that would of course be a sensitive switch. 

"Juventus and Inter are interested, as are top clubs from Germany and England. Chelsea have the best papers. Of course we discussed this extensively last year.

"Chelsea gave a fantastic presentation. There is a unique football atmosphere there. You immediately sit with the first-team players during lunch and the club has outlined a very ambitious plan for Xavier. 

"They really think that in one to two years, he can be in the first team. Frank Lampard has of course already proven that he is not afraid to play with young players. Being in the starting line-up at Chelsea at the age of twenty would, of course, be great."

A return to his homeland has also been rumoured, but Barros says he would rather go to AZ or FC Utrecht than make a switch to Dutch giants Ajax.

"Ajax are actually the only club in the Netherlands that can compete financially against those top clubs, but you don't just play there immediately, a switch from Barca B to the Ajax reserves is not an option for Xavier. 

"In that respect, AZ is a more logical choice, they are the most concrete in the Netherlands. FC Utrecht has a partnership with Barcelona and could also be an option. In that case it would be a loan move."

Mbuyamba signed a four-year contract with the Camp Nou outfit, but he is ready to leave already for several reasons.

“The ambiguity is enormous,” Barros said. “A new presidential election is coming and it could be that many new people will join the board. 

“Politically it is very restless and in a sporting sense there is a lot of division. If you see that even Ansu Fati can be loaned out… How can you break through as a talent?”