Chelsea are set to steal a march on their European rivals after holding talks over the potential signing of Barcelona starlet Gavi. Reports suggest the Blues have entered negotiations with the player's representatives regarding a free transfer this summer in a move that could save the club and owner Todd Boehly millions.
The 18-year-old is facing an unprecedented situation at the Camp Nou after being stripped of his shirt number and having his new contract cancelled.
La Liga have intervened over Barcelona's inability to stay under their salary cap due to the club's ongoing financial struggles, leaving Gavi in limbo as he attempts to sort out his future.
Gavi's contract has reverted back to his original youth deal, which would have expired when he turned 18 as a professional, allowing foreign clubs to swoop and sign him for nothing this summer. And reports in Spain suggets Chelsea are ready to pounce to land the highly-rated midfielder on a free transfer this summer as he is currently free to leave the club.
According to AS, the 'operation is already underway' after a meeting was held in the Madrid between Chelsea officials and the player's agent, former Spain international Ivan de la Pena.
Technical director Christopher Vivell, who along with sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart handles transfer dealings after Boehly stepped aside, represented Chelsea in the discussions. And it is claimed that Vivell made promises of an important role to play in the club's plans for the future, dubbed the '2030 vision' by Neil Bath.
The report adds that the outcome of the meeting was 'very satisfactory', giving Chelsea some encouragement over their pursuit of the Spain international.
Gavi - full name Pablo Martin Paez Gavira - has become the latest teenage star to break into the first team after coming through the club's famed La Masia academy.
He already has won 19 caps for the senior national team and impressed at the World Cup in Qatar before Spain's disappointing exit from the tournament. He followed a long line of stars in winning the European Golden Boy award in 2022 after an outstanding breakthrough season.
Barcelona will be desperate to keep him out of the clutches of English clubs but it remains to be seen whether the courts will rule in their favour after La Liga took away his shirt number.
He is still able to play for the club while the legal battle continues, but uncertainty over his future may force him out of the club this summer - and Chelsea look poised to take the deal forward for the £50million-rated starlet after their positive first meeting.