Chelsea are in discussions with Dynamo Moscow youngster Arsen Zakharyan.
The Lowdown: Who is Zakharyan?
The 19-year-old gem has featured 16 times in the Premier Liga this season scoring twice and assisting five from attacking midfield.
Already capped four times by Russia in their World Cup qualification group they were excluded from, he holds experience beyond his years after making his debut at only 17 years, five months and six days.
The Blues had previously been on the verge of signing Zakharyan on deadline day in the summer for £12.6m before a deal was blocked by British sanctions in place on Russia, mainly because of the fees going to a Russian club but also the difficulty of obtaining a work permit.
The Latest: Still confident of a deal
The 19-year-old had previously been confident about joining Chelsea with his agent speaking out about the failed deal, saying:
“This transfer is not frozen until winter, but it is possible.
“Now we are still working to ensure that Dinamo (Dynamo Moscow) can get money from Chelsea.”
But according to Fabrizio Romano, it looks like the deal is once again alive following Zakharyan’s interview with Russian outlet Sport Express, Romano tweeted:
Arsen Zakharyan on Chelsea deal: “I think it’s all right. Talks with Chelsea are underway. But I won’t reveal all the cards”, he told Sport Express.
“Zakharyan remains in Chelsea list as one of the young talents they want to bring to the club”, Romano tweeted.
The Verdict: Second time lucky?
Chelsea are set to splash the cash again in January with a mix of depth and quality needed to turn round the Blues and Graham Potter’s fortunes.
It’s unclear whether a deal to bring in the 19-year-old would see him arrive in England for the remainder of the season, or whether he would stay in Moscow for the rest of the season to finish the Russian league campaign with Dynamo Moscow sat in fourth.
The 6-foot midfielder is a creative spark for the 11-time Soviet champions, providing 2.7 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game, whereas Mason Mount has produced only 1.3 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per game, of course, there is a quality difference in their opponents but Zakharyan is sticking out already at only 19.
Should he be finally announced as a Chelsea player in January he could prove a real enigma for opposing teams, dubbed as “talented” by his Dynamo Moscow teammate Eli Dasa, who also claimed he could be a starter in west London.