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Chelsea in direct talks with Lyon for Rayan Cherki

According to Caught Offside, Chelsea are leading AC Milan in the race to sign Lyon wonderkid Rayan Cherki this summer.

The London giants recently sanctioned the departure of Christian Pulisic to AC Milan, and they have identified Cherki as a replacement for the USA star. Talks were initially held via intermediaries, and Caught Offside now report that Chelsea are negotiating directly with Les Gones for the teenager.

In doing so, the Premier League giants have moved ahead of Milan in the race, but still need to agree on the transfer fee. Caught Offside report that the French club want £43 million for the generational talent, but Chelsea believe a deal could be done for around £34 million in the coming days.

Huge potential

The 19-year-old is as one of the best young talents in the French top-flight. Last season, he registered 5 goals and 6 assists from 39 games for Lyon. His statistics were not extraordinary, but there are attributes of his game which suggest that he could be a leading playmaker.

According to Sofascore, the teenager completed 81% of his passes in Ligue 1 last season. He won an impressive 2.3 take-ons and 3.7 duels per appearance. Cherki created as many as 14 big chances for his teammates while he was guilty of squandering four big chances himself.

Cherki should only become better with age and experience. There are no surprises that Chelsea are pushing to land him. They are keen to take advantage of Lyon’s financial issues to secure a deal. Milan are also keen, but the London club have a good working relationship with Lyon.

Chelsea signed right-back Malo Gusto from the French outfit in the last transfer window, and decided to loan him back to the club. This won’t happen in Cherki’s case, but Lyon could be prepared to cash in as they look to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions. They need funds as they prepare for a second season without European football.

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