Kendry Paez: Chelsea agree £17.27m deal for 16-year-old Independiente del Valle midfielder

Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Kendry Paez from Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle for €20m (£17.27m).

The midfielder, who turned 16 last month, will move to Stamford Bridge after his 18th birthday – meaning he will likely join the Blues in the summer of 2025.

Paez – who can play in midfield or on the wing – made his debut for Independiente del Valle at the age of 15 and is the youngest debutant and goalscorer in the Ecuadorian top flight.

He also made his first appearance in the Copa Libertadores – South America’s equivalent of the Champions League – in a 2-1 win over Brazilian giants Corinthians last month.

Paez has shone at international level, most recently scoring one goal and assisting three more for Ecuador at this summer’s U20 World Cup.

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He also starred at the U17 Copa America, scoring two and assisting six while captaining his country, while he was also named as the top talent at the Next Generation Trophy – a youth tournament featuring clubs from around the globe – last year.

Paez’s signing continues Chelsea’s owners’ – led by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali – huge spending in the transfer window since their takeover last summer.

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The Blues signed 19 players at a cost of more than £600m across the previous two transfer windows, yet still slumped to a 12th-placed finish in the Premier League, while they also failed to lift a trophy last season.

Chelsea are expected to have another busy window ahead of them over the next few months as Mauricio Pochettino looks to trim down the bloated and underperforming squad that he has inherited.

Manchester United want to sign Mason Mount and Manchester City are keen on Mateo Kovacic, while a number of other players – including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Conor Gallagher, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly – have all been linked with exits.

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