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Chelsea keeping tabs on yet another midfield prodigy playing in Italy

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Chelsea scouts keeping busy.

The one on the right.
The one on the right.
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

A dime a dozen, these sorts of rumors are.  Just like these sorts of players.  Yet another highly talented prospect.  Yet another link with Chelsea, however random, alongside interest from Juventus, Roma, and whoever else.  This one's called Rolando Mandragora.  Cool name, Mr. Mandrake, but I don't play enough Football Manager nowadays to have even the slightest clue who he might be.

Italy really doesn't seem like the place where we'd go mining for youth gems — we seem to do that mostly in Brazil, Croatia, Serbia, and of course Belgium — but here's the Oracle and when the Oracle speaks, we gather 'round and listen.

Mandragora's agent Vincenzo Pisacane has spoken to Juventus and Roma, who have made the initial inquiries and continue to monitor the player. Chelsea also appears to be interested in Mandragora who is still owned by Genoa. While Pescara is his present, Mandragora could be playing for a top club soon.

-source: Gianluca Di Marzio

Serie B Pescara is where Mandragora is on loan right now and where he's impressing enough that the big boys are readying the piles of cash.  The 18-year-old midfielder already made his Serie A debut last season, and apparently even kept a certain Paul Pogba in his pocket.  But he made only four more appearances the rest of the season, before hitting the loan trail this summer.  (That fate certainly sounds familiar.)

Here are the highlights of said debut.  Seen worse, I suppose.  That said, just like with most of these sorts of rumors, Chelsea are more than likely just the big bad moneybags boogeyman to be used for leverage during negotiations with other teams.