Chelsea interested in Evan Ferguson as long-term transfer target

Chelsea are long-term admirers of Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson.

Brighton will resist any move for the 19-year-old forward, who has just signed a contract until 2029 and could cost more than £100million.

The Seagulls are under no pressure to sell and do not want to lose another jewel to Chelsea, who they managed to persuade to pay £115m for Moises Caicedo last summer.

Brighton’s reluctance to lose another star to Chelsea is considered to be a major stumbling block to any potential future deal for Ferguson.

The Republic of Ireland international attracted interest last summer from Manchester United and Tottenham, who were linked with a move for him to replace Harry Kane.

Alan Shearer last year described Ferguson, who has scored six goals in 24 appearances for Brighton this season, as a “very special talent” who “could be a superstar”.

Ferguson’s profile fits the youth-first approach Chelsea have taken to the transfer market and would mean they do not have to break their wage structure to land a top-class striker.

Victor Osimhen and Ivan Toney could demand more than £200,000 a week, whereas Ferguson is likely to want around half that amount.

Top talent: Chelsea have a long-term interest in Brighton forward Evan Ferguson (Getty Images)
Top talent: Chelsea have a long-term interest in Brighton forward Evan Ferguson (Getty Images)

Chelsea have already raided Brighton for a number of players, as well as a manager, and the Seagulls will resist a move for another asset. The Blues paid £63m for left-back Marc Cucurella, £25m for goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and £21.5m for Graham Potter, a record fee for a coach.

Chelsea have also poached sporting director Paul Winstanley, scout Kyle Macaulay and head of goalkeeping Ben Roberts from Brighton, paying well over £200m to the south coast club across three transfer windows.

The Blues have made a new striker their top transfer priority, but Mauricio Pochettino insists they are in no rush to sign a forward in January.

Although Chelsea will have significant money to spend in the summer, their transfer fund will be reduced if they fail to qualify for Europe again.

Osimhen has a £112m release clause in his Napoli contract. Brentford have ruled out a January departure for Toney and are likely to demand more than £80m for him at the end of the season.

Chelsea have also been linked with Feyenoord’s Santiago Gimenez, RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko and Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy.

The Blues are being careful this month to ensure they comply with profit and sustainability rules. Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah face uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge.