Chelsea Football Club has emerged victorious in the race to sign Ecuadorian prodigy Kendry Paez, completing a £20 million deal and beating out competition from Manchester United. Although the agreement was initially struck on the day of Graham Potter’s departure as manager, Independiente del Valle, Paez’s current club, has only recently confirmed the player’s destination as Stamford Bridge.
Paez’s acquisition is expected to mark the first signing of the Mauricio Pochettino era at Chelsea, with the former Tottenham manager set to take charge at the start of the upcoming season. Pochettino is anticipated to arrive in the UK this week from Spain to finalize the terms of his agreement and outline his expectations for the role. Follow your favourite Premier League team with attractive football betting odds from W88.
Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund were also reportedly vying for the Ecuadorian wonderkid, who has garnered widespread acclaim as a “generational talent” and is highly regarded among young players in South America.
However, Paez, who is currently 16 years old, will not be able to complete his move to Chelsea until he reaches the age of 18 in May 2025. This restriction is in place for South American footballers aiming to pursue and develop their careers in Europe.
The attacking midfielder, who represents Ecuador at the U17 level, has been making waves at Independiente del Valle, impressing with a goal on his league debut in February. Santiago Morales, a club official, revealed that Chelsea displayed the most interest in Paez, alongside offers from Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United. Chelsea officials, including the team’s doctor, even conducted tests during their visit.
Paez’s talent has also translated onto the international stage, where he has become a regular for Ecuador’s U17 squad. With five goals in 13 appearances, he has showcased his ability to provide assists as well. Notably, he contributed two assists in Ecuador’s 4-0 victory over Colombia in the U17 South American Championship last month.
Having already made six senior appearances for Independiente del Valle, Paez continues to make strides in his career and is set to embark on an exciting journey with Chelsea once he reaches the eligible age for the transfer. Get all the latest updates from the Premier League only on W88 Sports.