Chelsea are reportedly leading the race for defender Armel Bella-Kotchap from German second-tier club VfL Bochum.

According to the Sun, the Blues are in pole position for the in demand star after opening talks to try bring him to Stamford Bridge.

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It is understood that Frank Lampard’s side have already made contact with the 18-year-old’s representatives about a possible summer move.

The report explains that there is also interested from Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United in him.

The Sun’s report adds that VfL Bochum’s prized asset is valued at around £6.5million and that they will be prepared to listen to offers for him.

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Bella-Kotchap has made his breakthrough into senior football properly this season in Bundesliga 2 and is already attracting widespread interest from elite teams, with eight clubs mentioned as possible suitors for him.

The centre-back only recently signed a deal with his current team that keeps him until 2024, but it’s believed he will be allowed to exit and is destined for bigger things.

He has already represented Germany’s Under-18s side on the international stage and is regarded as a ball-playing defender that is extremely confident in possession, plus he’s got a great range of passing.

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Chelsea’s push towards youth so far under Frank Lampard has seen a number of talent emerge in the first-team this season and it would be no surprise to see youngster interested in a move to West London.

Bella-Kotchap is still a fairly unknown talent that is untested at a top level, but his £6.5million price tag could be worth the gamble.

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