London, Aug 5 : Chelsea has pounced on a contract stand-off between Aston Villa and Carney Chukwuemeka to sign the England under-19 star for a reported fee of £20 million ($24 million).
Villa boss Steven Gerrard left the midfielder out of the club’s pre-season tour of Australia after Chukwuemeka refused to sign an extension to his contract, which was due to expire in 2023.
Chukwuemeka, who turns 19 in October, broke into the Villa first-team in May 2021 and last season made 14 appearances, although just two of them were Premier League starts.
He played a starring role as England won the Under-19 European Championship in July.
“It’s been quite hectic but I couldn’t get Chelsea out of my head the last few days so I’m just happy and relieved that it’s all done,” said Chukwuemeka.
“I’m so excited and just can’t wait to get on the pitch, meet all the players and try to win games and trophies with Chelsea.”
He becomes the third signing of Chelsea’s new era under the ownership of Todd Boehly’s consortium, following Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly to Stamford Bridge.
Leicester keeper joins Nice
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel joined French club Nice on Wednesday after an 11-year spell with Leicester during which he helped the team win a Premier League title.
The 35-year-old Schmeichel was a key figure for the Foxes when they won the second-tier Championship in 2014, the Premier League title in 2016, and the FA Cup and Community Shield
Schmeichel made 479 appearances and will be remembered as “one of (the) greatest players in Leicester City history,” the club said.
“Throughout his time with us and particularly as a captain and vice-captain, Kasper has always been a player willing to stand up and take responsibility, leading the team with distinction,” Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said.
“His influence and his leadership on and off the pitch speak volumes about him as a professional, as a football player and as a human being.”
Nice also confirmed the transfer. No financial details were released.