Chelsea failed in their bid to sign Germany’s new hotshot Karim Adeyemi despite flying in him for personal meetings two years. Thomas Tuchel did bring a striker in through Romelu Lukaku over this summer transfer window from Inter Milan, though.
Chelsea were among the first clubs to have caught the attention of Karim Adeyemi, who has impressed over the international break.
The 19-year-old is the latest star of the astonishing production line at RB Salzburg, who have developed the likes of Erling Haaland, Patson Daka and Dayot Upamecano in recent years.
And the youngster has wowed scouts after scoring for Germany on his international debut against Armenia.
It has led to interest from the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona but Chelsea were the first to get their noses in for the teenager.
Three years ago when Adeyemi was 16, he was coming up through the ranks at SpVgg Unterhaching, a fourth-tier German club, before leaving for RB Salzburg that year.
Chelsea were interested in signing the wonderkid and even flew him to London to hold personal talks but a move failed to transpire, as explained by his club’s chairman Manfred Schwabl.
“In 2018 we received an inquiry from a scout from Chelsea. He had a contract with us at the time,” he said.
“My contact with Karim’s family was very close. I then said that it would be a great story if we could look at it together on site. Then his dad, my daughter, Karim and I flew over and we went to see it at Chelsea.
“That was a really interesting experience and Karim also did well. He even trained with the older age group and left his mark,” he stressed.
“But for us and the parents it was always clear that this step to the island [England] at the age of 16 is still too big. Chelsea wanted him to join the academy, but we said we wanted Karim under our own wing.”
That sentiment was echoed by Adeyemi himself when asked about the situation last year and it appears he could be the one that got away for the Blues.
“First of all, it is important to me that I play regularly.” Adeyemi told Sport1.
“My focus is currently on the Austrian league. I am very happy that I have so much time here. I am fully focused on the task in Salzburg.
“I’m very happy that I can play here in Salzburg and that I get my minutes on a regular basis. Every moment on the pitch is precious.
“I want to play in a club where I feel comfortable. Of course I dream of a Champions League win. It would be great to play for a club that regularly competes to win the Champions League.
“But that’s not what I have in mind right now. For me it is important that I develop myself further in Salzburg.”