Chelsea are reportedly interested in Leon Maloney and have entered the race alongside West Ham United and other clubs in pursuit of the Portsmouth teenager.
The Sun claim Chelsea are interested in Leon Maloney. The Portsmouth teenager was already courting interest from the likes of West Ham United and Volendam, which is managed by former Head of Academy at Ajax Wim Jonk. But, it seems the Blues have joined the race for the exciting young attacker, with recently relegated Fulham also rumoured to be in for him.
18-year-old Leon Maloney is a product of the Portsmouth youth setup. Maloney has already made his senior debut, featuring as a 17-year-old in the Checkatrade Trophy in the 2018-19 campaign. The youngster though, shined for the Portsmouth academy setup, scoring 16 goals in 22 appearances for Mark Kelly’s side.
Maloney spent the second half of the 2018-19 campaign playing for Bognor Regis Town FC.
Current Pompey boss Kenny Jackett already has plans to include Maloney in the first-team setup for the upcoming season. Despite the huge expectations, the 18-year-old is still on a scholarship deal at Portsmouth, which means an obvious threat of being poached, with Volendam, West Ham, Fulham and Chelsea interested.
West Ham are reportedly interested in Portsmouth’s rising star Leon Maloney. 18 years old. Winger.
— West Ham News (@whufc_news) July 24, 2019
Among the clubs, West Ham believe Maloney can develop into a quality footballer within the next two years and want to bring him in for cheap. Chelsea’s interest comes on the back of glittering reports from scouts, with the Blues having a long-standing history of bringing in youngsters, with their youth squad one of the best performing ones in Europe.
Chelsea are currently serving a two-window ban. But, they are hopeful their appeal to CAS will allow them to sign players from January. With Maloney on a scholarship deal at Portsmouth, Chelsea are aware they can sign the 18-year-old in lieu of a small compensation fee and are pushing for a deal.
As far as Portsmouth are concerned, the club was once a stalwart in the Premier League but have now been languishing in the lower divisions. Portsmouth did have a chance to get promoted to the Championship via playoffs in the 2018-19 campaign. But, they lost to fellow old timers Sunderland in the semi-finals.
However, that could play into Portsmouth’s advantage. This could mean Portsmouth can provide regular first-team football faster compared to other clubs. For Maloney, this will be a tough decision to make. Ideally, Maloney would love to run his scholarship deal, which has a year left, out before moving on.
The report though, has been labelled ‘agent talk’ by an article from the club’s official site. Portsmouth would hope Maloney commits his immediate future to the club, if not more.