Chelsea confirm signing of Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu

Chelsea have announced the signing of Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu on a long-term contract.

Over the weekend, reports emerged that the Blues had made significant progress in their efforts to sign the highly-regarded French prospect.

The Premier League outfit were alleged to have agreed a €27m (£23.2m) deal for the 19-year-old, who has already made an impression in Ligue 1

Three days later, Chelsea have now confirmed that the prospect has made the switch to Stamford Bridge, penning a seven-year deal in the process.

Speaking to the club’s official website, co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: “We’re delighted Lesley is joining Chelsea. He is an impressive young player who has already made his mark in Ligue 1.

“He has a huge amount of potential and we know he is going to continue to develop and improve. We are pleased that he has joined us in the U.S and that he will be able to integrate with the squad quickly.”

Ugochukwu has made the journey to the USA despite Chelsea having just one fixture remaining on their schedule against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday evening.

He had featured in Rennes’ opening two friendlies of the summer before being left out of the most recent games against Brest and West Ham United.

The defensive-minded midfielder departs the Ligue 1 outfit having made a total of 60 appearances in all competitions, with 37 of those outings coming in 2022-23

Despite his potential, Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has already hinted that Ugochukwu will be going out on loan for next season, most likely to Strasbourg.

That said, the Argentine is known to be currently assessing his options with Chelsea having struggled to reach a positive conclusion in their pursuit of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo.

As it stands, Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher are Chelsea’s only senior midfielders, with the remaining alternatives all being prospects and youngsters with minimal Premier League experience.

In their official unveiling, Chelsea have not hinted whether Ugochukwu will remain with the first team or go elsewhere.

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