Chelsea’s supposed deal for Partizan Belgrade youngster Danilo Pantic has reportedly fallen through, as the player hasn’t signed any official deal.
Despite reports yesterday claiming that the 18-year-old had put pen to paper on securing a Chelsea move, derived mainly from quotes from the man himself suggesting he was set to be loaned to Vitesse Arnhem, the transfer rumour mill is singing a very different tune this morning.
As relayed by the Evening Standard Pantic confirmed today that he’s not set to move to Stamford Bridge, although he did suggest that the Premier League leaders had shown an interest.
“I have been the talk of the town lately but I know I didn’t sign anything with Chelsea," Pantic said.
“I have been the talk of the town lately but I know I didn’t sign anything with Chelsea"
“They showed interest but no concrete deal was signed. I am still a Partizan player.”
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The latest setback doesn’t necessarily mean that Chelsea won’t be signing Pantic this month, with the nominal fee of £1.25 million able to be paid anytime up until February 2 of this year. It could well be that Mourinho is making up his mind as to whether or not to part with the finances, as initial contact looks as though it has been made.
For Pantic, who rejected the chance to move to Serie A giants last summer, it represents the chance to move to a big European club, and perhaps take a step up with regards to his development.
The Serbian midfielder has thus far never played anywhere other than Partizan, and so a transfer to Chelsea, even if it was to be loaned straight back out, would be a test of his true abilities.
There’s no doubt the 18-year-old would be hopeful of replicating the road to the Blues first-team that Thibaut Courtois took, with the Belgian international spending three years at Atletico Madrid before returning to the west London fold to oust Petr Cech.
Chelsea loan spells
Though many have tried and failed - the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne among them - there’s no other way for rising talents like Pantic, though he may see this as a deterrent.
Mourinho will be hoping that he’s not rejected by another highly-rated starlet this month, with Andrej Kramaric having already opted in favour of Leicester City. The prolific forward was wanted by both Premier League clubs but chose The Foxes as a result of the first-team opportunities.