Chelsea have ambushed attempts from Tottenham to sign Northern Ireland teenage sensation Charlie Allen, Football Insider has learned.
The sought-after attacking midfielder, 15, has undergone a Spurs trial and held talks about a deal as they attempt to lure him to north London ahead of rival Premier League clubs.
A Chelsea source has told Football Insider the club are keen to beat Tottenham to the youngster’s signature.
They have asked Allen’s club Linfield about having the teenager on trial at their Cobham headquarters.
Chelsea coaches want to have a look at the rising-star attacker at close quarters as they consider stealing a march on their London rivals.
Allen has also attracted strong interest from Manchester City and spent time at the club as he looks to secure a move.
Spurs had been in pole position to secure the signature of Allen earlier in the summer, but their pursuit has now been complicated by the interest of two well-heeled Champions League clubs.
Chelsea have a rich tradition of signing the best young talent in the UK and Frank Lampard has put his faith this season in young players who have come through their academy system.
The 15-year-old became Linfield’s youngest-ever debutant when he made his first-team bow in their final game of last season.
He does not turn 16 until November and has been described by Linfield Academy director Glenn Ferguson as “one of the brightest prospects” he has seen.
The Northern Ireland outfit are resigned to losing Allen and are now braced for offers from some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs for their prize asset.