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Chelsea ready to sign talented Espanyol midfielder for bargain fee

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Chelsea are prepared to meet the €8m exit clause to sign a talented young Espanyol star this after keeping a close watch on the midfielder in recent months, claims a trusted source.

Frank Lampard’s side were placed under transfer embargo last summer after breaching FIFA rules, though those sanctions were lifted ahead of the January window.

However, rather than bring anyone in then, Chelsea instead kept their powder dry though did move to sign playmaker Hakim Ziyech, who will arrive in a £33.4m deal at the end of the season from Ajax.

But now it seems Chelsea are ready to unleash their spending mite on the footballing world again with reports last week suggesting they have set their sights on a trio of Serie A stars valued at a combined £201.5million.

But it’s not just established first teamers Chelsea are looking at signing, however, with Lampard showing his willingness to trust in youth after giving the likes of the impressive Billy Gilmour licence to shine this season.

And next on Lampard’s shopping list is Espanyol’s 18-year-old midfielder Nico Melamed, who has a tempting €8m exit clause in his current contract.

The teenager, just known as Nico, has only played in Europa League qualifying for his side so far and is yet to make his LaLiga debut. But Gianluca Di Marzio claims that has not stopped the Blues expressing a strong interest with the midfielder scoring seven goals in 27 games for their B side this season.

Nico is also being watched by the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid who have, according to Di Marzio ‘followed him (Melamed) closely’ in the last few weeks and are ‘ready to pay for him’.

But the article also suggests Chelsea are in the driving seat and Di Marzio insists that it ‘cannot be ruled out’ that they move for the 18-year-old when the transfer window reopens.

That’s a price the Blues would easily be willing to pay and the player is thought to be high up their wanted list as the Blues prepare not just for the next transfer window, but also in the seasons ahead.

Meanwhile, an experienced Chelsea man has confirmed he will be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season with a move back to his homeland on the cards.

Nico Melamed

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