Fulham have hijacked Leeds United’s bid to sign highly rated Chelsea youngster Ashley Akpan, according to Football Insider.
Despite undergoing a trial with the Elland Road club at their Thorpe Arch headquarters at the start of January, it has been reported that Fulham have invited the 16-year-old to their training ground this week.
He will be assessed by the club’s coaches at their Motspur Park facility, which could bring an end to Leeds United’s reported interest.
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Nothing has been agreed between the player and the club as of yet, as the decision depends on how Akpan can perform during the course of his trial period.
The 16-year-old is capped by Poland at under-15 level, and is versatile positionally. He is able to play in defence as well as midfield.
Fulham’s academy currently has Category One status – the highest level attainable.
A recent acquisition that has gone on to sign a professional deal at the club is 17-year-old Jay Stansfield, who joined the Cottagers on a scholarship basis last summer from Exeter City.
Fulham will see this as a significant coup, and with Leeds having been unable to secure Akpan’s signature, it leaves the door open for the West London club to alter proceedings.
With Chelsea offering the youngster a way out, and Fulham nearby, Akpan may well decide to choose them over the Yorkshire club.
The Cottagers have a good reputation for bringing through youth talent, with Ryan Sessegnon and Marek Rodak two recent examples.