SEVERAL English Premier League clubsides are planning to purchase Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze from Spanish side Villarreal during the forthcoming January transfer window.
Chukwueze only turned 21 earlier this year but has been part of the Villarreal first-team since 2018 after featuring for Nigeria in the U17 World Cup. Yesterday, he got on the scoresheet when Villarreal beat Valladolid 2-0 in a Spanish league game, scoring the opener in the 20th minute.
As a result of Chukwueze’s rich vein of form, Manchester United, Leicester and Everton have all signified an interest in signing him come January. Chukwueze is valued at more than £80m by Villarreal, so matching his evaluation is going to be a major challenge for any of the English sides as it has proved a stumbling block to potential transfers in the past.
Chelsea, who were watching Chukwueze prior to the signing of Kai Havertz earlier this summer, still remain an interested party because of the uncertainty over Callum Hudson-Odoi’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool are said to also have had eyes on Chukwueze for more than a year, while Wolves are another club who have him on their radar as a potential replacement should Adama Traore move on.
Villarreal are aware of the scale of the talent they have on their hands and have been shrewdly raising Chukwueze’s release clause though a series of new contracts in keeping with his escalating value. Chukwueze, who has modelled himself on Dutch winger Arjen Robben, signed two new contracts over the last 16 months alone and his £80m release clause is now more than double what it was at the start of 2019.
Chukwueze was part of the Nigeria squad that finished third in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and was listed as one of Uefa’s 50 young players to watch in 2019/20 alongside the likes of Erling Haaland, Alphonso Davies, Ferran Torres, Sandro Tonali and Rhian Brewster. He was also a member of Nigeria’s 2017 U-17 World Cup winning squad that included Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.