Inter Milan starlet Cesare Casadei has reportedly agreed personal terms with Chelsea ahead of a summer move to Stamford Bridge.
The 19-year-old is yet to make his debut for the senior Nerazzurri squad, but he has garnered a reputation as a goalscoring midfielder at youth level in his homeland.
Casadei represented Inter’s Primavera squad in the 2021-22 season, during which he amassed 17 goals and five assists from 40 appearances across all competitions.
The teenager scored 14 league goals en route to the title and also helped Inter make it through the group stage of the UEFA Youth League before they were eliminated by MSK Zilina.
Casadei’s exploits briefly caught the eye of Simone Inzaghi, who named the Italy Under-19 international on the bench for February’s 2-0 Serie A defeat to Sassuolo.
Interest in Casadei’s services has been rife since his stellar campaign last term, and he only has two years left to run on his contract at San Siro.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are now poised to win the race for Casadei’s signature after reaching an agreement on personal terms with the teenager.
Romano claims that Casadei will sign a six-year deal at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2028, beating both Nice and Sassuolo to the former Cesena youngster.
Chelsea are said to have already had two bids rejected by Inter for Casadei, but Thomas Tuchel‘s side are expected to strike gold with their next offer of €15m (£12.6m) plus add-ons.
A separate report from The Guardian claims that Tuchel is still undecided whether to integrate Casadei into the first-team squad right away, and he could instead ply his trade at youth level some more.
Alternatively, Casadei could be loaned back out to a club in Italy in order to further his development, as Tuchel already blessed with numerous midfield options for the 2022-23 season.
Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Billy Gilmour, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher are all battling for places, but Kante suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
There are now fears that the Frenchman could be out for up to a month with his latest issue, and both he and Jorginho are out of contract in the summer of 2023.
Juventus are reportedly looking at Jorginho as their ideal replacement for Manchester United-bound Adrien Rabiot, and the door is not thought to be fully closed on another loan exit for Gallagher.
Casadei would follow the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Carney Chukwuemeka, Gabriel Slonina and Omari Hutchinson to Stamford Bridge during a busy summer of spending for Chelsea.
The Blues are also understood to be in talks with Tuchel over a contract extension, which would keep him on the books in West London until the summer of 2026.