Chelsea are reportedly keeping tabs on the progress of 15-year-old Italian prodigy Simone Pafundi who is making many waves at Udinese.

According to a report from Italian outlet Tutto Udinese, Chelsea are tracking the development of Udinese’s 15-year-old wonderkid, who has been likened to footballing legend Lionel Messi.

Pafundi, born in 2006, has been with the Udinese youth academy since a very young age and has made rapid progress through the ranks. Despite his young age, the attacking midfielder is already playing for the Italian outfit’s Primavera outfit at the Under-19 level, having made his debut for the team in March earlier this year.

Since then, Pafundi has established himself as a regular in Jani Sturm’s side, having managed 16 appearances in which he has scored two goals and registered five assists. The 15-year-old has been in particularly red-hot form in the ongoing campaign, having already been involved in five goals in five league appearances.

Pafundi’s immense potential and swift development have put him on the radars of several top clubs across Europe as per the report, with Chelsea among the teenage prospect’s suitors. It is claimed that the Blues have had scouts visit to watch the 15-year-old in action in recent weeks.

Chelsea, for years, have been known to sign talented prospects with potential at a young age for their academy before loaning them out and eventually flipping them for a profit. However, that trend has changed significantly in recent seasons, with many youngsters breaking into the first-team at Stamford Bridge and even establishing themselves as key players.

The likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi have all become regulars at the first-team level at Chelsea, while this season has witnessed the emergence of another academy product in the form of Trevoh Chalobah. So, it should not come as a surprise that the west London giants are looking to strengthen their youth ranks further with the addition of a talented player like Pafundi.

The 15-year-old, however, is currently focused on his development at Udinese as he looks to help the Primavera outfit to promotion this season. Any decision concerning his future will only be taken at the end of the campaign. It will be interesting to see whether Chelsea decide to make a swoop to sign Pafundi from Udinese.

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