Neil Bath playing important role in recruitment as Chelsea pursue young talent

Academy boss Neil Bath has been handed a central role in Chelsea’s transfer planning this summer, the PA news agency understands.

The Blues are understood to be closing in on completing a £12million deal for Inter Milan’s 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei.

Chelsea have already recruited Aston Villa’s highly-rated 18-year-old midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka and the Blues are determined to continue chasing the game’s top young talents.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Todd Boehly, pictured, and Chelsea’s other new bosses have entrusted great responsibility in the club’s academy (John Walton/PA)

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, Arsenal’s Omari Hutchinson, Brighton’s Zak Sturge and Southampton’s Tyler Dibling have all also been signed this summer.

The Blues are also monitoring Brazil Under-16 star Endrick, the forward already on the radar of many top European clubs.

New owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have handed manager Thomas Tuchel a crucial role in the summer’s transfer business.

But the Blues’ new chiefs have also entrusted major responsibility to acclaimed and experienced youth coach Bath amid the west London club’s wide-ranging overhaul.

Chelsea have already spent big on front-line signings Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella.

The Blues are understood to be pressing ahead undeterred with a summer’s transfer business designed to transform the Stamford Bridge squad.

Tuchel is thought to be confident of convincing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join from Barcelona, with the Blues also continuing to push on a deal for Nou Camp midfielder Frenkie De Jong.

Thomas Tuchel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang File Photo
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, left, and Thomas Tuchel, right, could reunite at Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

Stamford Bridge chiefs are also pressing ahead with talks over Leicester defender Wesley Fofana and Everton forward Anthony Gordon.

New chairman and interim sporting director Boehly is thought to have been just as determined to bring in some of the game’s brightest young talents as to bolster the number of senior stars.

Bath has coached at Chelsea since 1993 and has overseen the academy’s progress into one of the world’s premier footballing production lines.

The Chelsea academy prides itself on producing players not just of the highest quality, but also attitude and personality.

Boehly and Eghbali have backed Bath and his staff fully not just in continuing their existing work, but also to guide the club’s longer-term recruitment.

Chukwuemeka and Casadei, should he join as expected, will be thought to push straight away for first-team chances.

But Chelsea’s designs on the duo are based around the years ahead, and a lasting transfer strategy.