According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have “completed” a deal to sign 17-year-old Pape Daouda Diong from a football academy in Senegal. The lanky midfielder was spotted in the owner’s box at Stamford Bridge a couple weeks ago (alongside fellow future signing Kendry Páez and co-owner Behdad Eghbali), so this development is hardly a surprise. You’re welcome, Strasbourg.
Romano’s brief report makes no mention of a transfer fee, but previous rumors put it at around €20m, which is not nothing, but would be if Diong does live up to his supposed potential. But that’s a fair bit down the line from now, especially as he won’t even be joining until he turns 18 in the summer.
There’s no official Chelsea confirmation of this deal yet, but it does fit our current m.o., and it’s also in line with how other moneyed clubs are snapping up youngsters well before their 18th birthdays. So we better get in on this action before FIFA adjust their Article 19 rules (which they surely must since these signings go entirely against the spirit of that rule, no?).
Chelsea have completed deal to sign Senegal U17 midfielder Pape Daouda Diong, as revealed two weeks ago.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 28, 2023
Born in 2006, Pape will turn 18 in the summer and he will become part of Chelsea project.
Diong was at Stamford Bridge just two week ago. pic.twitter.com/81S4LQsE3T