Borussia Dortmund have some of the best young talents in world football and, if reports are to be believed, they could be adding another one.
German outlet Bild claim that Dortmund have agreed a £30.4 million deal to sign 16-year-old Jude Bellingham from Birmingham.
It would be a club-record transfer for the Bundesliga club and would obviously be a world-record fee paid for a 16-year-old.
The midfielder doesn’t turn 17 until the summer and was attracting the interest of a whole host of major European clubs. He was heavily linked with Manchester United in January but it seems he will seek a new challenge in Germany.
He will team up with fellow Englishman Jadon Sancho, as well as Erling Haaland at the Westfalenstadion.
But Bellingham isn’t the only young starlet making waves in world football.
Many players aged 17 or under are already showing off their talents - although you may not be aware of all of them.
Therefore, courtesy of transfermarkt, here’s a list of the 20 most expensive players aged 17 or under:
20 | Harvey Elliott | 16-years-old | Liverpool | £3.6m
The youngest player in Premier League history has made seven first-team appearances for Liverpool this season - mostly in cup competitions.
19 | Yan Couto | 17-years-old | Coritiba | £3.6m
Couto, a right-back, will join Manchester City in the summer for a fee in excess of £5m after they beat the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona to his signature.
18 | Filip Stevanovic | 17-years-old | Partizan Belgrade | £3.6m
The Serbian winger has made 25 appearances for Partizan Belgrade this season, scoring five goals.
17 | Ezequiel Zeballos | 17-years-old | Boca Juniors | £3.6m
The striker is impressing for both Boca and Argentina youth sides.
16 | Talles Magno | 17-years-old | Vasco da Gama | £4.5m
The Brazilian striker has played 22 times for the Vasco de Gama first-team and has represented his country at U17 level, scoring five goals in 10 appearances.
15 | Jeremy Doku | 17-years-old | Anderlecht | £5.4m
Doku has made 28 appearances for Anderlecht in the past two seasons and have even represented Belgium U21s.
14 | Giovanni Reyna | 17-years-old | Borussia Dortmund | £5.4m
Another serious Dortmund talent having made nine appearances this season, scoring once. The son of former Glasgow Rangers, Sunderland, Manchester City, and United States player Claudio Reyna, has also played 18 times for USA’s U17 side, scoring eight goals.
13 | Adil Aouchiche | 17-years-old | Paris-Saint Germain | £5.4m
The midfielder has broken into PSG’s first-team this season, making three appearances. He scored nine goals in five matches at the 2019’s Euro U17 tournament.
12 | Tanguy Kouassi | 17-years-old | Paris-Saint Germain | £6.3m
The centre-back has played 12 times for PSG this season - and even scored three goals.
11 | Adam Hlozek | 17-years-old | Sparta Praha | £6.75m
The Czech forward has made 24 appearances for the runaway league leaders this season, scoring four goals.
10 | Rayan Cherki | 16-years-old | Lyon | £7.2m
Cherki has already played 12 first-team appearances for Lyon, scoring three goals.
9 | Pedri | 17-years-old | Las Palmas | £7.2m
Pedri will join Barcelona in the summer after impressing in La Liga 2 this season. The attacking midfielder has played 25 times for Las Palmas in the league.
8 | Fabio Silva | 17-years-old | Porto | £9m
The Portuguese striker is on the brink of Porto’s first-team having played three times in Liga Pro and three times in the Europa League.
7 | Sebastiano Esposito | 17-years-old | Inter | £9m
Despite having to compete with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Lautauro Martinez, Esposito has managed seven appearances for Inter’s first-team this season. He also scored in the 4-0 win against Genoa back in December.
6 | Matias Palacios | 17-years-old | San Lorenzo | £9m
Has only played twice for San Lorenzo but the attacking midfielder is very highly-rated. Has also played for Argentina U20’s.
5 | Ryan Gravenberch | 17-years-old | Ajax | £10.8m
The next young talent to come off Ajax’s conveyor belt? The midfielder has already made a handful of first-team appearances and scored a few goals too.
4 | Jude Bellingham | 16-years-old | Birmingham | £10.8m
Here he is. Bellingham has played 34 times for Birmingham in the Championship this season and has impressed. He looks destined for greatness.
3 | Gabriel Veron | 17-years-old | Palmeiras | £22.5m
Veron has just played 70 minutes of football for Palmeiras over three appearances and has already scored two goals. He’s also got five goals in 16 games for Brazil U17’s.
2 | Eduardo Camavinga | 17-years-old | Stade Rennais | £31.5m
The defensive midfielder has been brilliant for Stade Rennais this season as they sit third in Ligue 1. The Angolan-born Frenchman has played 24 times in all competitions and has even played for France U21’s.
1 | Ansu Fati | 17-years-old | Barcelona | £36m
The most expensive player aged 17 or under. The winger has benefited from injuries at Camp Nou, having played 23 times and scoring five goals. He’s also represented Spain U21’s this season.
Twenty of the most expensive players aged 17 and under. Despite their young age, it’s actually difficult to see any of them fail to reach the heights that their incredible potential promises.
The majority of them are already playing first-team football and are already impressing.
Of course, there are plenty of variables that may see them fail to reach the heights they aspire to (such as injuries) but in five or so years time, don’t be surprised to see many of these starlets dominating world football.
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