Chelsea are set to rival Manchester United for Birmingham’s 16-year-old star Jude Bellingham.
The two Premier League giants, along with a host of clubs around Europe, are keeping tabs on the teenage sensation.
But they cannot sign Bellingham to a lucrative professional deal due to his age until the summer.
The teenager earns just £145 a week at St.Andrews as a scholar, according to The Sun, and cannot sign a pro contract for several month but is already considered one of the most promising English talents since Wayne Rooney.
Bellingham has made over 30 appearances this season and scored winners against Stoke and Charlton.
It is believed a fee of around £50m will be required to prise him away from the Midlands – £35m of that being paid up front – which would be a record for a player of his age.
United had a £30m offer snubbed in January and the heightened competition for his signature means Birmingham will no doubt be in the money when Bellingham does move on.
The Red Devils are also interested in fellow English star Jadon Sancho, who is likely to be seeking pastures new in the summer with Borussia Dortmund resigned to selling him.
United have held a long-term interest in the forward, but it looks as if neighbours Manchester City could steal a march.
The blue half of Manchester saw Sancho leave for Germany in 2017 and as part of the deal it was decided that they would get the chance to match any bid for the 19-year-old.
Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc admitted: “City would have a maximum of ‘Matching Rights’.”
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Much may rest on the future of Leroy Sane who has been linked with a return to Germany as Bayern Munich circle.
A move to the Allianz Arena would leave a sizeable void in City’s squad which may encourage them to move for Sancho.