Chelsea have completed the signing of teenage Romania international Cristian Manea, according to the latest reports.
The Independent, citing tweets made by a Romanian journalist supposedly confirming that Manea’s club president has consented to the transfer, claims that the 17-year-old will be Jose Mourinho’s first signing of the summer, despite the fact the transfer window isn’t open yet.
Manea, a defender for Romanian outfit Viitorul Constanta, has already featured for his national side, breaking the record for his country’s youngest ever player when he turned out for 90 minutes against Albania last year.
Though Chelsea have yet to offer any official confirmation that would put well and truly put the speculation to bed it’s believed that the tweet that started the hype, from Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu, was delivered on good authority after information from Viitorul’s CEO.
Of course it can’t be assumed that Manea will be anywhere near Jose Mourinho’s first-team next season, irrespective of the fact he’s a capped international.
Chelsea can lay claim to having extremely impressive strength in depth in virtually all the positions on the pitch, and it’s unlikely Manea will have a work-permit in place to play in England anyway due to his age.
What’s far more feasible is that he will spend at least a year on loan elsewhere - presumably at one of Chelsea’s feeder clubs such as Vitesse Arnhem - before moving to England to be closer to Mourinho’s squad.
Strength in youth
With the emphasis The Special One has placed on youth development of late it’s a good time to be a rising star at Chelsea. Mourinho has already confirmed that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be with his first-team squad next season and it’s a safe bet that a few of his fellow academy graduates will be with him.
That said Manea, talented as he might be, will still have an arduous task breaking into Mourinho’s plans. A right-back by trade he’ll be tasked with following in the footsteps of the ever-reliable Branislav Ivanovic, and that doesn’t look like being an easy feat by any means.
Chelsea fans, who else do you think Mourinho is going to sign this summer? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.