Chelsea threaten Dominic Solanke with demotion over wage demands

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Dominic Solanke's decision to demand £50,000-a-week from Chelsea looks set to backfire with the club happy to stall his career by demoting him to the development squad.

A report in The Times says Chelsea officials have told the 18-year-old he can expect to spend next season training with the under-19s and under-21s if he does not climb down from his ludicrous demands.

Solanke has just 12 months left on his current deal, believed to be worth £7,000-a-week. But the promising striker has demanded a substantial pay rise as well as first-team guarantees to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.


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The England youth international is currently enjoying a loan spell with Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem, where he has scored seven goals in 24 appearances but was expected to challenge for a place in Antonio Conte's senior squad next season. 

However, the demands have been seen as insidious by Chelsea coaches, who have spent time and money developing Solanke into a prodigious talent. Now, it seems, the talks are only turning sourer.

Blocking move

Chelsea have told Solanke's father, who has acted as his agent during these talks, that the club will not allow his son to leave on another loan deal or give him a place in the senior squad next season. That will see Solanke playing youth-level football when he could arguably be playing in the Premier League.

The threat is designed to shake Solanke out of an apparent delusion that he has already made it into the big time. Indeed, the £50,000-a-week he wants is the same that Tottenham star Harry Kane currently earns. But whereas Kane looks set to win the Premier League's golden boot this season, Solanke is still waiting for his debut.

Fingers burnt

Chelsea, however, are in a difficult position with regards to the youth product. They are desperate to bear some fruit from the millions Roman Abramovich has invested in the Cobham academy and Solanke is the brightest talent to come through it in a decade.

Only John Terry has made a real impression on the first-team having come through the academy while countless other hopefuls have seen their careers wither away through lack of first-team opportunities.

Equally, Chelsea have been seen as soft touches, handing Josh McEachran a £30,000-a-week deal and Andreas Christensen £20,000-a-week. The former failed to make the step up to senior level while Christensen was awarded that £1m-a-year deal before even making his debut for the Blues.

Arsenal interest

Solanke has reportedly attracted interest from Arsenal, who, despite unwilling to pay him £50,000-a-week, can offer him a clearer route into the first-team. Arsene Wenger has a reputation for giving promising teenagers a chance to impress, which is something Alex Iwobi has taken advantage of this season.

Losing the young striker to their London rivals in unthinkable for Chelsea, but their aggressive approach to Solanke's demands could only push him further away from west London.

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Frank Lampard
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