Chelsea have joined Barcelona in the hunt to nab Bayer Leverkusen’s teenage midfielder Atakan Akkaynak, according to reports.
The 18-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for the Bundesliga club, but is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Germany.
According to Goal, the Blues – as well as Serie A side Roma – have begun following the defensive midfielder to rival La Liga outfit Barca for his signature.
The Copa del Rey champions have sent scouts to watch the German youth international for over a year, and had been leading the chase for Akkaynak.
He has been promoted to the Under-19 squad for the national side, having been the captain at both U-17 and U-18 levels.
And he made his debut for Meikel Schonweitz’s men in a recent 0-0 draw with Switzerland – having rejected the opportunity to represent Turkey.
Leverkusen are desperate to tie him down to a long-term contract at the BayArena – with his current deal due to expire in 2019.
So far this season, Akkaynak has featured in five games for Die Werkself’s U-19 side – providing an assist in the 1-0 win over Bielefeld.