Chelsea are reportedly interested in securing the services of 16-year-old prodigy Leonardo Cardoso from EFL Championship club West Bromwich Albion.

According to a report from Football Insider, Chelsea are plotting to sign teenage prospect Leonardo Cardoso from EFL Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion before he signs his first professional contract with the Baggies.

Cardoso is a 16-year-old Portuguese midfielder who is held in the highest of regards at West Brom. Having joined the Baggies’ youth setup at a young age, the teenager has impressed those within the club, who believe that he is among the best talents in the country in his age group.

Cardoso has represented Portugal as well as England at the Under-16 level. His performances for the age-group teams at the club and international levels have caught the attention of the talent spotters at Chelsea.

The Blues have a history of recruiting young footballers with great potential very early in their careers, after which they are developed at the academy, loaned out to help their progression before being sold for a profit.

Chelsea interested in a January deal for Leonardo Cardoso (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Chelsea interested in a January deal for Leonardo Cardoso (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

However, that trend has changed in recent seasons, with several youngsters from the academy going on to make an impact at the first-team level for Chelsea. The likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevoh Chalobah are a few notable examples of this new-developing trend at Stamford Bridge.

So, it should not come as a surprise that the west London giants are looking to invest in more youngsters with talent. They have recently been linked with a move for Italian prodigy Simone Pafundi, who plays for Udinese and has been likened to Lionel Messi.

Chelsea also recently handed a trial to Wrexham AFC’s 16-year-old left-back Daniel Davies and have now set their sights on Cardoso to bolster their youth ranks further.

West Brom, for their part, are keen on tying him down to a professional contract when he turns 17 in May next year. And Chelsea are now hoping to lure the Portuguese midfielder to Cobham before that happens. It remains to be seen if the Premier League bigwigs are successful in their endeavours.

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