Jose Mourinho

Man United and Chelsea battle for 16-year-old worth £40m

Prized Pellegri

What were you doing when you were 16-years-old? Were you the subject of a £40 million transfer battle between Manchester United and Chelsea? No. Don’t even answer that. We know you weren’t. We did research. Journalism.

Unless, of course, this is Pietro Pellegri reading the article. Then we hold our hands up and retract what we said about you not being the subject of a bidding war. To everyone else, here comes the skinny on Pellegri.

Compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pellegri is 6’4 and probably has some growing to do.

That’s a terrifying prospect for defenders as they’re already struggling with the teenager. He scored two goals at the weekend as Genoa lost 3-2 to Lazio. He was the first 16-year-old to score twice in a major European league game.

It’s little wonder that we’re hearing reports of a transfer war between Manchester United and Chelsea. There’s no doubt that Pellegri would have already been on their radar. The Italy underage international has been the subject of hype for some time now. He scored a goal against Roma at the end of last season, a few months after debuting at 15.

The Sun reports that Genoa chairman Enrico Preziosi will only sell his prized asset for £40m. Juventus are interested too but are reluctant to pay such a fee for most players let alone a 16-year-old.

Red hot form

Both United and Chelsea are in red-hot form coming into this Champions League round. United won their fifth match in six after fighting hard to beat Southampton 1-0. It was a drab performance but showed United’s winning habit.

Chelsea went to Stoke City and battered the Potters with Alvaro Morata netting a hat-trick. The Spanish forward is settling in brilliantly in England and has five goals in the Premier League, as does Romelu Lukaku.