Chelsea are ready to do battle with Liverpool for the free signing of PSG teenager Ismael Gharbi, according to a report.
Gharbi, 17, has excelled in the French club’s youth set-up and made his senior debut this season. Mauricio Pochettino has used the attacking midfielder three times in total, but those appearances have all been in cup competitions.
He may never make his Ligue 1 bow, or at least not for now. That’s because his contract expires at the end of the season.
And Goal claim the Premier League duo of the Blues and the Reds are interested in snapping him up as a free agent.
It was reported earlier this year that Chelsea were looking at Gharbi alongside another unnamed English club. That has now been revealed as Liverpool.
However, it’s noted the youngster’s priority is to remain at the Parc des Princes.
He is seeking guarantees about playing time before signing a deal anywhere. And that’s something which Chelsea and Liverpool may struggle to offer him.
They do present a more visible pathway to the first team, though, than PSG, who largely recruit rather than using their young talent.
In contrast, both Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp have shown they will provide opportunities at the right time.
Explaining what the German managers would be getting, Gharbi’s former coach Guillaume Serra told RMC: “He is capable of playing in the middle, but also out wide where he can then drift towards goal.
“He has a keen sense of when faced with the goal too. But he also has a lot of room for improvement in positional play and transition phases.”
Chelsea and Liverpool await Gharbi’s decision
Gharbi is now faced with another major career choice, having only just recently made another.
Born in France, he has represented them at youth level. But he was called up to the Spain under-18s squad in January.
After some consideration about his international future, he recently opted to commit to the latter, as per GFFN.
Whether he will jump ship for his club career too is next up for debate as Chelsea and Liverpool eagerly await his decision.
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