Chelsea have agreed terms with Celtic’s Somalian-born striker Islam Feruz, his agent has told STV.
The 16-year-old is seen as a great prospect, and has represented Scotland at youth level, having moved to the country in 2001.
The players’ agent told STV: “A lot of clubs were interested in him. We had proposals from clubs in Spain, Italy and France. Some clubs even approached us and said ‘we know we won’t be able to get this kid because he is such a talent’.
“We appreciate everything Celtic and Tommy Burns did for him. I have a lot of respect for Celtic. Neil Lennon is a friend of mine who I deeply admire. But it was in Islam’s heart to move to Chelsea.”
Ferez is too young to sign a professional deal until he turns 17, but joins on a scholarship, with Celtic receiving compensation for their training over the past four years.
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No question of Sturridge loan.
After scoring the winning goal at the weekend for Chelsea against Sunderland, England U21 striker Daniel Sturridge proved manager Andre Villas-Boas correct in not loaning him out again in the Summer.
Talking to the Daily Mail, the new Blues boss said: “We had a lot of teams calling Daniel to take him on loan during the transfer window but it was never going to happen. The technical staff and I all had the feeling we should bring him in. We have an outstanding player. There is competition for all the main forward positions and it’s important we have that.”
The player himself also spoke of his desire to keep his place in the first-team: “I’m so happy that the manager has put so much faith in me. It’s been a bit frustrating because I’ve been suspended for the start of the season and I didn’t know if the manager was going to put me straight back in the team. But I’m happy that he did, even though we’d won the last two games. The future hopefully is for me to continue playing games in the team, successfully with the team winning games.”
Ballack in emotional return.
Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack is looking forward to return to Stamford Bridge tomorrow night as the Blues host Bayer Leverkusen in their first Group E game of the Champions League.
Ballack, who spent four years with Chelsea, making over 100 appearances, was pleased that the opportunity arose: “I was very happy. For me the draw could hardly have been any better. I am looking forward to travelling there again, to playing there. Emotionally this will certainly be a special match for me”, the German told UEFA.com.