Chelsea have reportedly joined Barcelona and Real Madrid as the trio vie for the signature of OGC Nice wonderkid Malang Sarr.

According to Sky Sports, Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to face competition from a Premier League giant in the pursuit of Malang Sarr. Chelsea have joined the race for the OGC Nice wonderkid and are set to battle the La Liga duo for the defender, who has taken the Ligue 1 by storm.

OGC Nice almost completed their own fairytale story last season as they surrendered their early lead atop the Ligue 1 table to finish third. However, there were many sub-plots that emerged from the storyline, with several youngsters coming to the fore and stamping their authority in not just the first-team but the entire league as well.

Malang was one of the standouts as he made his debut in the first game of the 2016-17 campaign, capping it off with the winning goal. And, there has been no looking back for the 17-year-old since then. The centre-back ended the campaign with 27 league appearances to his name in his maiden campaign.

And his performances have caught the attention of the best of European clubs, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Arsenal vying for the player. Arsenal even tried to sign the player earlier in a failed attempt. However, Arsenal have now been replaced by Chelsea in the pursuit of the 17-year-old Frenchman.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are both looking for players to consolidate their backline with a view to building for the future as well. Also, Barcelona and Real both have a decent contingent of French stars in their squad and would help Sarr settle well into the squad.

Chelsea, on the other hand, could be able to land the player by promising a more prominent role in the first-team setup from the get-go. The Blues have signed Antonio Rudiger in the present window. But, Conte is still looking to add more options to his back three, especially with Zouma and Christensen both linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge.

According to the report, the player’s contract has a £36 million release clause embedded in it – an astronomical for a 17-year-old. But, given the potential and the ability that Sarr possesses, the player could be worth the value of the buyout clause.

It would be interesting to see, though, whether Chelsea do activate the release clause or negotiate for a lower fee – something Nice are unlikely to want to do, especially if they are continue on their stance of the player being not for sale. But, Barcelona and Real Madrid may just hop in with the entire amount of the clause to land the 17-year-old.

For now though, there are three clubs vying for the player’s signature and it will be interesting to see whether Sarr can reject the lure of a move to one of the Elites of Europe, given that the best chance of gaining regular game time will be at Nice – which is very important for the player’s growth and development.

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