According to The Times, Chelsea are standing firm in the face of Dominic Solanke's outrageous contract demands. The teenager's currents contract ends next season, but unless he agrees to the club's terms on a new one, he will spend his time until then back in the youth ranks instead of out on loan or with the first-team.
Last week, The Telegraph's Matt Law reported that the 18-year-old striker wants £50,000-per-week, plus assurances over first-team chances. The negotiations are being handled by Solanke's father-agent.
If this sounds a bit familiar, you might recall back in 2012-13 when French international Florent Malouda was demoted to the youth team for the final year of his hefty Chelsea contract after refusing to take a paycut and move to Brazil. A year before, Nicolas Anelka and Alex were given similar treatments. If the club were willing to do this to established veterans, it's easy to see how we could also do it to a largely unproven 18-year-old. Regardless of how bad of a PR move it could turn out to be.
On the other hand, a firm stance could set a new precedent that fat contracts to the likes of Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had established over the past few years. Solanke's wage demands are indeed outrageous, but they probably wouldn't be had we not given even more than to RLC. Or if we had a proven path from the youth to the senior ranks. This is a situation almost entirely of our making and now we have to deal with the consequences.
Hopefully there's still time for an amicable resolution in this case.