Report: Chelsea interested in signing 19-year-old prospect playing in the EFL, Barcelona also keeping tabs

Chelsea and Barcelona are reportedly keeping tabs on Fleetwood Town’s talented teenager, James Hill.

According to TEAMtalk, the Blues and Barca are amongst a swarm of elite sides that have scouted Hill – who is out of contract in June- throughout the season.

Southampton, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Burnley, Norwich City, Newcastle United and Leeds United are the other Premier League clubs seemingly peering down into League One at Fleetwood’s centre-half.

Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images

Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Stoke City apparently make up the list of interested Championship suitors.


TEAMtalk claim that the Saints will try to come out on top in the race for the 19-year-old’s signature, although the competition for his scribble should be hotly contested.

Why is Hill so in demand?

The centre-back left the womb of academy football as a fresh-faced 16-year-old, making his senior debut in 2018 against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.

Then manager Joey Barton described his display as ‘assured and composed’, not to mention being a ‘natural leader’.

All attributes have equipped Hill well for life in the lower divisions.

He didn’t feature again for Fleetwood after that first appearance until the 2020/21 campaign, where the defender truly began to flourish.

Photo by Andrew Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images

Across all competitions, he made 35 appearances for the Cod Army and his on 15 already for the current campaign.

However, Hill hasn’t played at all since earlier November due to injury, an issue that forced him out of the England Under-21 camp around that period.

This may damage his possible move to one of the Premier League giants, however, there is probably enough credit in the bank to keep them interested.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.