Chelsea step up interest in Bundesliga starlet

Chelsea have a new target
Chelsea have a new target / Sebastian Widmann/GettyImages

Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Borussia Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko, 90min can confirm.

The talented 18-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and 90min previously reported that a number of Premier League sides were growing in confidence that Moukoko was open to leaving Dortmund.

Among Moukoko's suitors are Chelsea and sources have now confirmed that the Blues have ramped up their interest in the Germany international following their failed pursuit of Palmeiras' Endrick, who is heading to Real Madrid.

Contact has been made between Chelsea and the player's representatives in the hope of striking a cut-price deal for the teenager, who has six goals and four assists in 14 Bundesliga outings this season and has long been hailed as a possible superstar of the future.

Manchester United and Liverpool remain keen on Moukoko, while Arsenal and Tottenham are among the sides to have been informed by some involved in the deal of the player's desire to leave Dortmund in 2023.

Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Quentin Gesp and Jack Gallagher to look back on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia - join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

However, 90min understands the biggest threat to Chelsea's pursuit of Moukoko could be Barcelona, who see this is as the chance to snap up a possible cornerstone of their future for a significant discount.

Like Chelsea, Blaugrana officials are working hard to try and win the race for Moukoko's signature, but Dortmund have not yet given up hope of retaining his services.

Moukoko's increased involvement in Dortmund's first team this season is a sign of the German side's commitment to his development and has been designed to try and convince the teenager that he is most likely to retain his place in the German national team if he remains.

Having travelled to the World Cup with Hansi Flick's side, Moukoko saw just one minute of action at the end of the first game and is not yet a guaranteed member of the squad, and so Dortmund hope to encourage the teenager to stay and boost his international hopes at Signal Iduna Park.

At the same time, Chelsea are keen to lure Moukoko to London as part of the club's plan to pursue the game's top young talents. Endrick was their top priority but, with the Brazilian heading to Real Madrid, the focus is now on Moukoko.