Agent of Aston Villa star reveals Newcastle United contract offer - but he’s agreed to join Chelsea

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Chelsea have beaten Newcastle United to the Jamaican teenager’s signature.

Newcastle United have missed out on signing Dujuan Richards after the Jamaican wonderkid opted to join Premier League rivals Chelsea instead.

After starring for Kingston College and Phoenix Academy, the 17-year-old - nicknamed ‘Whisper’ - underwent a two-week trial at the Magpies’ Academy last month.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

According to Craig Butler - founder of the Phoenix Academy and agent of Aston Villa star Leon Bailey - Richards received a contract offer from United but Chelsea’s was “the best one”.

“It wasn’t a sudden switch,” Butler told the Jamaica Gleaner. “Whenever you manage a player, it is important that you look at all available options and choose the best possible offer.

“Newcastle really did a great job and made a big effort to get him and we appreciate everything that they have done. Newcastle presented a very good offer and so did Genk and Ajax. But for us Chelsea presented the best one.”

The teenager will sign officially for the Blues on his 18th birthday (October 11), as per FIFA rules.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Chelsea were not just better from a financial perspective but also in terms of his football pathway and the plan for the player,” Butler added. “He will be in the first team and that is very important to me. If he is to go out on loan, I will be integral in the decision as to where he goes.

“But Chelsea are looking to put him in their first team and they have provided a plan, and that plan really fits ‘Whisper’ going forward.”

Announcing Richards’ move to Chelsea on Instagram, Butler posted: “History has been made. The Phoenix All Stars Football Academy is proud to announce that Dujuan “Whisper” Richards, who has been with us since 12 years old, has put pen to paper and signed his pre-contract with Chelsea FC in England and will be plying his trade in the Premier League.

“This has been a long road and one that has made us exceptionally proud of his loyalty and undying faith in me and our team at Phoenix. Kyle Butler, Kaycie Butler, Travis Blagrove and the village that helps us in his development. We’re proud of the people of Jamaica who believed in Whisper, in Phoenix and in our country’s ability to produce if only we are willing to work hard, smart and are committed to excellence.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are grateful to Chelsea Football Club and look forward to the continued relationship and partnership with our academy as we prepare Whisper for the Premier League.

“We thank all the clubs who have shown interest and took the time to look at our players and we look to the future for more top talents from our academy gracing the pitches in Belgium, Holland, Germany, England and Spain.

“On a personal note, Chelsea FC was my boyhood dream club and I’m so pleased to have one of my players built in the furnaces of the Phoenix at Stamford Bridge. There’s much more from Phoenix to come, but we can assure you we will defend our players and fight for them with all our hearts and souls.

“Whisper, I can rest now. The task is now only beginning for you. We are with you today on your debut for Jamaica and it is only fitting that I release the news of your signing to the world before the game. This is history made and an accomplishment never seen before at this high a level of a club. From little Phoenix in Jamaica to the mighty Chelsea.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Thank you to the staff at Chelsea, especially Joe Shields for believing me two years ago when I told him that I was building the top talent,

“Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards. “Show me your faith without works and I shall show you my faith by my works.” - Jesus Christ.

“Again, thank you to so many people, Dujuan’s mother and to the one that didn’t believe- believe me now. Whisper will play in the Premier League at the highest level.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.