Per a report by Sky Sports, Bayern Munich has submitted a fourth offer to Chelsea for 18-year old winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. The latest proposal for Hudson-Odoi is rumored to be valued at £35m, which converts to over €39m.
Just yesterday, it was reported that Hudson-Odoi wanted a move to Germany and that Hudson-Odoi had even agreed to personal terms with Bayern. It appears that Chelsea, however, is debating internally if and how it can keep its young talent in house.
The Sun is also reporting that Chelsea is seeking to make every effort to keep Hudson-Odoi at least through the end of this season.
Hudson-Odoi, 18, is out of contract at the end of next season and has told Chelsea he will NOT be signing a new deal after agreeing terms with Bayern. But the Blues are determined to hold on to him until the summer as they battle an injury crisis.
Bayern see him as the long-term successor to Arjen Robben, who will leave at the end of the season. The Bundesliga champions three times tested Chelsea’s resolve with offers of £13.5m, £20m and £30m. Hudson-Odoi impressed in Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest and (Maurizio) Sarri urged him to continue cutting his teeth at Stamford Bridge. When asked if moving to Germany would be wise, he said: “I don’t think so, because he is an English player.
If Chelsea fans were not clamoring for Hudson-Odoi prior to this weekend, his performance against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup likely sealed the deal. Hudson-Odoi tallied two assists in a superb showing that has created a clamor among Chelsea fans to keep the starlet.
UPDATE: What’s in a number?
Goal’s Ronan Murphy and Nizaar Kinsella also are reporting Bayern’s offer and, very interestingly, the additional detail that Bayern really has offered Hudson-Odoi Arjen Robben’s jersey number: 10!
I asked Murphy directly via Twitter how credible he considered that detail to be. Here’s his response:
High. It’s only a number really. And Robben is gone in the summer. Bayern have many key players who want non-one-to-11 numbers anyway, so they can accommodate James with something else if he stays.— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) January 8, 2019
Murphy astutely anticipated the follow-up question that many of you might have: what about James Rodriguez, who has had to make do with number 11 instead of his beloved (and perhaps contractually obligated!) number 10? It comes down to whether James stays. Perhaps Bayern already expects him to leave; perhaps, though, they are confident they can keep James happy, as well.
Chelsea’s recent deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic could be one of the primary factors in Hudson-Odoi allegedly wanting to leave. With such a significant investment made in the American, Hudson-Odoi may not trust that he will see enough time on the pitch to continue his growth.
Should Bayern procure Hudson-Odoi, the winger would likely join Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Alphonso Davies as next generation replacements for longtime stalwarts Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Even then, playing time will be a battle for Hudson-Odoi in such a young, skilled, and possibly crowded group if he is indeed seeking to to be a formal starter and not part of a rotation.
Robben and Ribery, of course, are expected to leave Bayern after this season.