Chelsea starlet St Clair leaves for Venezia after rejecting new deal

Click here to watch it live with fuboTVfuboTV
Harvey St Clair ChelseaGetty

Chelsea have seen highly-rated midfielder Harvey St Clair opt against signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge and instead complete a move to Venezia.

The 19-year-old had been on the Blues’ books since joining their U8 team, progressing through the ranks to make his bow for the U18s at just 15 years of age.

He was highly regarded in west London, but he has opted to continue his development elsewhere.

St Clair told the Scottish FA’s official website: “I’m really pleased that everything’s settled because it’s been on my mind for months.

“I’ll go out to Italy on July 7 to start pre-season preparations and I’m looking forward to it already, but it was a really difficult decision to leave Chelsea and one I didn’t take lightly.

“It’s been a very hard decision for me and my family. I first trained with Chelsea when I was six years old so I’ve been associated with the club for a long time now. They’ve done so much to help me over that period of time.

“They’re a great club with an unbelievable academy. I just feel like it’s the right decision for me at this point in my career.

“I really want to be playing regular first-team football if I can and with the depth of talent Chelsea have available to them then I just didn’t see that happening in the short term.

“That’s absolutely not a criticism of them – just a fact of life. It’s the level that they’re at.

“Venezia are really ambitious and looking to go places and, like I said, my focus is to be playing first-team football. It’s something I feel I need at this age.”

With his current contract set to expire at the end of June, Chelsea had been hoping to put fresh terms in place for a man who made 17 appearances for their U23 side last season.

He netted three goals and provided three assists in those outings, but was reluctant to commit to an extended stay.

Instead, St Clair has taken the decision to link up with an outfit currently turning out in Serie B.

Having completed a medical with Venezia, a youngster who won the FA Youth Cup and U18 Premier League with Chelsea has signed a four-year deal.

He will now be hoping to build on a productive summer which has already delivered productive outings at the 2018 Toulon Tournament.

St Clair formed part of the Scotland side which reached the semi-finals of that competition before losing 3-1 to eventual winners England.

Those efforts were reported to have attracted interest from the likes of Watford and Zenit St Petersburg, but they have been left empty-handed.

The talented teenager feels that a permanent switch, rather than the loans Chelsea are partial to, will better serve his efforts to fulfil his undoubted potential in the years to come.