Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool track French teenage sensation

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Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City are all keeping close tabs on Marseille teenager Maxime Lopez, according to reports in France.

The 16-year-old playmaker is considered one of the best young players in France, and Marseille are desperate to fend off interest from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.

In fact, La Provence reports that Marseille have called a meeting at the club's headquarters to offer Lopez a new five-year deal to keep him at the club.

They'll offer him a two-year youth training contract, which would turn into a three-year professional deal on his 18th birthday.

But Chelsea and Liverpool, like all English clubs, have a distinct advantage over their continental rivals.

They can offer 16 and 17-year-olds lucrative financial packages to tempt them to join before their 18th birthday, with the potential promise of even more to come.

A La Provence close to Marseille said: "If a foreign club offers €20,000-a-month to a kid of 16 years, what do we do?

"This is the law of football business, but we hope he will make the choice of his heart."

Lopez has starred for the under-19s, and watching Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and City scouts have reportedly been left impressed - although he wasn't at his best most recently against Bastia.

Marseille hope Lopez will follow the example of Andre Ayew and Samir Nasri, who flourished in the first-team after starring in the youth ranks.

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