Chelsea reportedly failed with an attempt to sign German sensation Karim Adeyemi, who is now being linked with a move to Barcelona.
According to a report from the Express, Chelsea tried to sign German wonderkid Karim Adeyemi three years ago, but failed in their attempt to land the young striker, who is now a transfer target for Barcelona.
Adeyemi came through the youth ranks at TSV Forstenried München and spent a couple of years with the Bayern Munich academy, before returning to the former. Soon after, the young striker moved to the SpVgg Unterhaching youth setup where he spent six years between 2012 and 2018 before moving on to RB Salzburg.
And, it is at this time that Chelsea tried to sign Adeyemi, as revealed by Unterhaching’s chief Manfred Schwabl. It is claimed that the Blues even flew the then 16-year-old striker to London in order to hold talks, but a move never materialised. Instead, the youngster ended up signing for Salzburg.
“In 2018 we received an inquiry from a scout from Chelsea. He had a contract with us at the time,” Schwabl said. “My contact with Karim’s family was very close. I then said that it would be a great story if we could look at it together on site. Then his dad, my daughter, Karim and I flew over and we went to see it at Chelsea.
“That was a really interesting experience and Karim also did well. He even trained with the older age group and left his mark. But for us and the parents it was always clear that this step to the island [England] at the age of 16 is still too big. Chelsea wanted him to join the academy, but we said we wanted Karim under our own wing.”
Immediately after signing for Salzburg, the forward was sent out on loan to Liefering where he did well before returning to the Austrian giants. To date, Adeyemi has managed 17 goals and 16 assists from 60 games for the club, with seven of his goals coming in the ongoing campaign.
The teenager was also part of the German national team that won the UEFA European Under-21 Championships in the summer this year, while he also broke into the senior team for Die Mannschaft recently. His progress for club and country has seen Adeyemi attract interest from several top clubs across Europe, including Barcelona.
The Catalans have seen two star forwards in Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann leave the club this past summer. And while Luuk de Jong has arrived, his form in the last season was nothing to write home about, which makes the addition of another goalscoring forward something of a necessity, especially with Martin Braithwaite not being a consistent performer.
Chelsea may have missed out on Adeyemi three years ago, but the youngster could get his chance of earning a big move next year. Whether he ends up at Barcelona, or any other club – Real Madrid are also monitoring the teenager, remains to be seen.