Chelsea missed out on the signing of Germany sensation Karim Adeyemi three years ago, it has been revealed.
The Salzburg striker, 19, recently scored on his international debut and has been attracting interest from top European clubs.
But Chelsea were interested in him when he was just 16 and invited him to spend time at the club with a view to a possible move, the Express reports.
At the time he was with German fourth-tier club SpVgg Unterhaching, whose chairman Manfred Schwabl explained: “In 2018 we received an inquiry from a scout from Chelsea. He had a contract with us at the time.
“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.”
Adeyemi is expected to attract big-money offers next year, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich among clubs reported to be interested in him.