Bayern Munich are ready to make a new £40m bid for Callum Hudson-Odoi with the Chelsea teenager set on a move to the Bundesliga champions either this week or in the summer.
With RB Leipzig now also in the running, offering Chelsea £20m but crucially the opportunity of a buy-back clause, the next few days will determine the immediate future of the England Under-17 World Cup winner.
Chelsea do not want to lose Hudson-Odoi and have offered him a new deal, worth around £80,000 a week.
They feel that the 18-year-old, who has 61 minutes in the Premier League so far this season but started four games in the Europa League, FA Cup and in the Carabao Cup, a semi-final against Spurs, is receiving the right amount of opportunities for his age and want his development to continue.
They expect him to be a first-team regular soon and impressing on him that competition will be as tough at Bayern. Maurizio Sarri has also said that he wants him to stay.
Chelsea face battle from Bayern to keep ‘outstanding’ Hudson-Odoi – Ballack
But Bayern expect him to take over Arjen Robben’s No 10 shirt and are unlikely to commit so much money to a teenager without expecting him to go straight into their first team, with Robben and Franck Ribery leaving in the summer.
The player and his advisors have told Chelsea that the money on offer isn’t the issue but the fact that they feel he needs regular first-team football at the age of 18 and 19 to develop, especially as Jadon Sancho, who was a peer and friend with England Under-17s, is now a first team regular at Borussia Dortmund, who are top of the Bundesliga and in the Champions League.
Sancho’s influence has also been a factor for Bayern, who don’t want to miss out on the next English starlet having been close to signing Sancho, who is currently the Bundesliga’s most-exciting young player.
Hudson-Odoi’s contract runs out in June 2020, meaning his value will drop dramatically on Thursday when the transfer window closes.
With only two more windows in which to sell him or risk losing him for compensation costs, Chelsea would have to accept a vastly reduced fee in the summer.
Hudson-Odoi is not expected to be swayed by further contract offers by Chelsea as he wants to test himself in the Bundesliga.
And though the prospect of playing under Ralf Rangnick and Julian Nagelsmann in Leipzig next season is intriguing, he wants to move to Bayern.
Though Chelsea want him to stay, if they were to conclude it is better to sell this week they would clearly prefer a buyback option, as Hudson-Odoi is the jewel in the crown of their academy.
But whereas RB Leipzig would accept that, Bayern would not and that is the club at which Hudson-Odoi himself wants to test himself.