Bayern ‘absolutely want to sign’ Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea wonderkid Callum Hudson-Odoi's time at Stamford Bridge appears numbered as Bayern Munich continue their public interest of the winger.
Hudson-Odoi, who started in the Blues' 1-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup semi-final, first leg yesterday morning (Singapore time) has refused to discuss a new contract with Chelsea, Goal.com reported.
It is understood the 18-year-old is keen to establish himself as a first-team player at a time when his former England Under-17 teammates Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson have benefited from moves to Germany.
Juventus, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund had earlier registered an interest in Hudson-Odoi, but Bayern are now clear favourites after they tabled their fourth bid of £35 million (S$60m) on Tuesday and offered him the No. 10 shirt that he prefers.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic yesterday confirmed that the club are keen on signing the winger, telling reporters at their winter training camp in Doha: "He's a very interesting player who we absolutely want to sign.
"He has qualities that suit our game. He's a strong dribbler, fast and carries a goal threat."
Bayern coach Niko Kovac has also given his take on his club's pursuit of Hudson-Odoi, saying the Bavarian giants, who signed French defender Benjamin Pavard on a five-year deal yesterday, have been following the progress of their main winter transfer target.
"Hudson-Odoi is from the same year as Dortmund's Sancho and (Hoffenheim loanee from Arsenal) Nelson, who were very successful," he said.
"It is completely normal that we are aware of and are following the player."
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, however, has urged Hudson-Odoi to rebuff Bayern's advances, the Guardian reported.
"I don't think a move to Germany would be good for him," Sarri said.
"He is very young and has a very good future here; with the England team and with Chelsea. He is a very important player.
"We have very important players in the same position and I can play with only two wingers, but he is ready... I can start to consider him on the same level as Willian and Pedro Rodriguez."
Meanwhile, [HUDSON-ODOI]former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes the winger would be better off learning his trade at Stamford Bridge.
He told Sky Sports' podcast The Debate: "He's got great potential... A lot of people have potential, but get in and don't produce. If I were his agent, I would tell him to be patient and stay.
"Bayern are an ageing team, I don't think they're going to be the dominant team they were.
"And when they change it around, there will be a lot of pressure on him - he won't be playing with the Riberys and Muellers, he'd be expected to pull up trees.
"He's playing behind top-drawer players at the moment. He's not at a mid-table club thinking, 'why am I not playing?' It's Willian, Pedro, proper players. You can only learn from them."