Arsenal have reportedly beaten a string of Premier League rivals in the race to sign Welsh wonder-kid Ethan Ampadu, according to reports in the Sun.
The Exeter City midfielder had a trail with Liverpool when he was just 14 and despite the Merseyside club wanting to sign him, he chose to return to the League 2 side instead.
The youngster, who turned 16 in September, has already made ten appearances for the Exeter senior side and has been on the radar of Wales boss Chris Coleman since the start of the year.
Ampadu was even invited to Wales’ pre-Euro 2016 training camp in the summer where he trained alongside the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
The report claims that the North London club have fought off competition from title rivals Liverpool and Chelsea to bring the 16-year-old to the Premier League. Chelsea were believed to have come close to striking a deal for Ampadu last month, but no further progress has been made.
Manchester clubs along with Tottenham have also shown an interest in the midfielder and the trio were to sign him on a long-term deal, after the prodigy enjoyed successful trials at the clubs. He is expected to cost around £2 million, which is a significant fee for a 16-year-old.
The youngster, who is the son of former Arsenal player Kwame Ampadu, became the youngest ever player to make his debut for the club in an EFL cup match when he started at centre-back against Brentford in August.
The midfielder is eligible to play for England, Ghana and Ireland at international level, is believed to prefer a move to Arsenal, as he will link up with father Kwame, who works as a coach in the Gunners’ youth academy.
The Emirates club have a long track record of signing youthful prospects and under Wenger the likes of Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott joined the club young and have gone on to become key players in Wenger’s title aspirations.
It seems Wenger has been impressed by what he has seen from Ampadu, and hopefully the Exeter youngster can follow a similar path to the aforementioned names at the Emirates.
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