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Official: Chelsea will sign Kendry Páez ... in two years

...when he turns 18

Ecuador v Korea Republic: Round of 16 - FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Chelsea announced this afternoon that we have agreed a deal to sign Kendry Páez from Independiente del Valle in Ecuador, confirming reports from a few months ago that claimed the same.

Páez of course only just turned 16 last month, and FIFA regulations prevent the international transfer of minors. (But they don’t prevent the international contract and transfer agreements of minors, evidently.) So Kendry will join on his 18th birthday, which will be on May 5, 2025. Yes, 2025.

Until then, the highly promising Ecuadorian Messi will continue to develop and grow at Independiente, and hopefully continue to do so on an upwards trajectory while avoiding injuries. I do wonder what sort of get-out clauses may be in this deal (should something go terribly wrong), which is reportedly an eye-watering €20m — a low fee in the grand scheme of things, but still a massive investment in a teenager who won’t even get to wear Chelsea colors for another 23 months.

In any case, Kendry looked pretty good at the U20 World Cup, and there’s clearly talent there.

We’ll see you in a couple years, kid!

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