Chelsea youngster Lewis Bate is on the cusp of sealing a move to Premier League rivals Leeds United.
That is according to The Athletic, who report that Bate could officially complete his move to Elland Road as soon as this evening.
Bate arrived in West Yorkshire this morning to undergo a medical and, baring any late snags, will soon be unveiled as a Leeds player, bring his time at Stamford Bridge to a close.
Discussions between Chelsea and Leeds are believed to have gathered pace at a relatively quick speed and a fee between the two clubs of around £1.5million has been agreed upon.
Although Chelsea are poised to land an initial windfall of £1.5million from Bate’s exit, the value of the deal could rise depending on how well his career takes off at Elland Road.
As well as that, The Athletic report that Chelsea have inserted a sell-on clause within the deal, meaning if Bate is to be sold by Leeds in the future then the Blues would land a percentage of that sale price. However, no buy-back clause has been included.
Bate’s impending departure will no doubt come as a surprise to many Chelsea supporters, with many tipping the young central-midfielder to become a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge in years to come. However, the 18-year-old, despite Chelsea’s best efforts, was not willing to sign a new contract, with the lack of first-team opportunities a concern for the talented wonderkid.
He believes joining Leeds will present him with a better pathway to secure first-team football at a quicker rate of knots.
Leeds, however, were not the only club to have expressed an interest in Bate, with both Liverpool and West Ham United also circling.
It will represent an exciting capture for Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa, who has transformed the club’s academy system in the last few years.
Bate will become the latest Blues academy graduate to seal a permanent exit from Stamford Bridge this summer, following in the footsteps of the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi, who joined AC Milan and Crystal Palace, respectively.