Football

Nya Kirby.

Spurs accuse Chelsea of tapping up highly-rated teenage starlet

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Chelsea have apparently had a narrow escape on being reported to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach to sign an England under-16 international player from rivals Tottenham.

According to a report in The Times, Tottenham were angry with their west London counterparts for trying to sign 16-year-old Nya Kirby while he was still at White Hart Lane.

The teenager had been training with Mauricio Pochettino's first team before the side's Europa League clash with Borussia Dortmund back in March, but subsequently informed them of his desire to join Chelsea.

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The incident further fuelled the bad blood between the two clubs. Having played out an ill-tempered 2-2 draw at the end of last season in a game that all but ended Tottenham's title hopes, the two sides clashed over the use of Wembley Stadium for their European games and then Tottenham questioned whether coach Steve Holland should be allowed to continue dual roles with Chelsea and England.

Chelsea have been rampant at youth level, winning four of the last five FA Youth Cups, and Spurs are said to be concerned at the club's aggressive policy when it comes to recruitment.

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Spurs were told that Kirby wanted to leave over the summer following interest from both Manchester United and Liverpool, but upon discovering that there was no offer from either club, they reasoned that a deal was already in place to take him to Stamford Bridge.

Kirby then did undergo a trial at Chelsea, in which he featured in a game against Bayern Munich's youth team, but no offer was made because of the threat of being reported. Following that he underwent another brief trial with Arsenal, but again, no offer was made.

However, he has since popped up at Crystal Palace, who have applied to the Premier League to register him.

Kirby was a highly-rated prospect at Tottenham, featuring a handful of times for the England under-16 side and had been expected push on and join training with the senior side on a more regular basis.

Spurs and Palace are now negotiating a compensation fee for the youngster, which the report says is likely to be settled by the Professional Football Compensation Committee.

But Chelsea will consider themselves lucky that Tottenham eventually declined to report them, and perhaps understandably, they are opting to remain quiet on the matter.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Frank Lampard
Chelsea
UEFA Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur
John Terry

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