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Chelsea striker Ugbo valued at £5m as Fulham, Monaco and Genk jostle for summer transfer

16:10 BST 13/04/2021
Ike Ugbo Chelsea main image
The Blues academy graduate has impressed on loan at Cercle Brugge this season and could be set for a permanent move at the end of the campaign

Fulham, Monaco and Genk are among the clubs chasing Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo, who has scored 16 goals while on loan at Cercle Brugge this season.

Despite Cercle hovering around the relegation zone in the Belgian top flight, Ugbo has netted almost a goal in every other game in one of Europe's most scouted divisions.

It has led to transfer interest intensifying, with the Blues academy graduate's contract expiring in June 2022.

Which clubs are interested in signing Ugbo?

Through their ownership of Cercle, Monaco have a £5 million ($7m) option to buy on Ugbo and are interested in signing him following his impressive form at their sister club.

Along with Fulham and Genk, Serie A side Bologna have expressed an interest in signing the 22-year-old. Furthermore, Russian side Rostov and Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria in Serie A are understood to be interested in signing Ugbo, and even made offers in January that were not accepted.

Chelsea's insistence on getting £5m for their loanee was expressed when they rejected Rostov's £3m ($4m) bid in January. The Blues are keen to reduce the size of their loan group with new regulations coming in this summer from FIFA, which will stop teams from having large groups of players out on temporary deals.

The west Londoners have already let Lucas Piazon go for free in January to Braga after the Portuguese side agreed to match his full wage, and the deal displayed the Blues' willingness to negotiate for a host of loanees in the summer.

How good is Ugbo?

At Cercle, Ugbo has scored 16 goals and provided one assist in his 33 games this season. It is the second consecutive season when he has scored regularly in Europe after netting 13 goals in 29 games at struggling Roda JC in the Netherlands.

It follows less successful English football loans in the Championship with Barnsley, and League One with MK Dons and Scunthorpe, where Ugbo has previously admitted to struggling to transition from academy football to the senior game.

"On my first loan [at Barnsley], I didn't feel I showed the qualities that I really had. I think it was just a different world for me to go out into first-team football and adapt. I don't think that I adapted quickly enough," Ugbo told Goal last season.

"I am showing more of the qualities that I had when I played in the Under-23s [at Chelsea] and that potential that I have to push on to the next level. They were all learning curves, really, and it has moulded me into who I am now."

However, his latest loans have proven that he can replicate his form from Chelsea's academy, where he was once regarded as an equal to his strike partner Tammy Abraham.

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