Chelsea agree fee to sign Danilo Pantic

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Chelsea are set to add highly-rated Serbian midfielder Danilo Pantic to their ranks after agreeing a compensation fee with Partizan Belgrade.

This is according to Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti - brought to our attention by the Daily Star - who understand Pantic will become Chelsea's first signing of the January transfer window.

The 18-year-old sensation is widely considered one of Serbia's most talented young stars - but Partizan have agreed to offload the player for a minimal fee with his contract set to expire this summer.

Pantic set for Vitesse loan

Pantic hit the headlines in August when rumours surfaced that he had signed a pre-contract agreement with Italian champions Juventus.

However, these reports proved inaccurate. Danilo surprisingly rejected the move to Turin, but it appears his head has been turned by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

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It's understood that the Blues plan to loan out Pantic to their Dutch feeder club Vitesse, where a host of talented Chelsea starlets have played over recent years, next season.

Why Chelsea?

So, why Chelsea?

The chance to play for one of Europe's best clubs would obviously tempt any young player, but competition for places at Stamford Bridge is fierce - and only the best young players make it into the west London outfit's first team.

It's possible Pantic was convinced to join Chelsea after seeing the success of fellow Serbs Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic.

The Serbia Under-19 international may subsequently feel the next stage of his development is best served at Stamford Bridge, under the guidance of Mourinho and his youth coaches.

Fierce competition at Stamford Bridge

Pantic only turned 18 in October and it will be some time before Chelsea fans see him in the first team.

As well as their first-team regulars - including Matic - Chelsea also have a host of talented young midfielders on their books, including Marco van Ginkel, Oriol Romeu, Lewis Baker, Thorgan Hazard - brother of Eden - and Josh McEachran.

But if Pantic and his agent feel the youngster possesses the talent and potential to force his way into Mourinho's plans then it's a deal that makes sense.

Chelsea fans: are you excited by this signing? Do you expect Pantic to make it at Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comments below.

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Branislav Ivanovic
Premier League
Transfer News
Nemanja Matic

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