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Report: Chelsea sign Partizan star Markovic to pre-contract

Lazar Markovic is hiding!
Lazar Markovic is hiding!
Srdjan Stevanovic

We've been hearing about Chelsea's interest in Partizan Belgrade wonderkid Lazar Markovic for some time now, bt apparently this little courtship's been secretly consumated without anyone actually noticing. According to the Sportski žurnal, the chase for the Serbian international second striker/midfielder/winger was very, very real, and the Blues actually signed him to a pre-contract earlier in the year, news which Partizan opted to keep from the rest of the planet.

Markovic, 18, was first called up to the Serbian national team almost 12 months ago, and looks set to join the Blues this summer -- although it's reasonably likely that he'll go out on an upper-level loan somewhere rather rather than stick around with the Chelsea first time. The fee's reported to be around €7 million, which is steep but understandable in the fact of Markovic's reputation and the fact that there were several clubs trying to secure his services.

With the apparent impending acquisition of Cristian Cuevas on top of this, the Blues are continuing to stock up on elite young prospects, which is working out superbly so far. If they all develop as well as they might, we're going to have far too many fantastic young players for the squad to hold. That's a problem we can deal with later, although I'm rooting for Lazar to make it just so he can combine with Eden Hazard. LAZAR HAZARD.

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