Newcastle United midfielder ‘agrees personal terms’ with Chelsea amid surprise exit

Newcastle United are set to lose on the teenage midfielder to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
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One of Newcastle United’s brightest academy prospects is on the verge of joining a Premier League rival.

Ollie Harrison, the 15-year-old who appeared in the under-18s Premier League last season, is set to join Chelsea after agreeing personal terms, as per the Daily Mail. The move is subject to Premier League approval, with a compensation package or tribunal to follow.

English top-flight clubs such as Brighton and Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers have also tracked the teenager but West London appears to be Harrison’s preferred destination.

The midfielder turns 16 next May and is currently ineligible for a professional contract. His father Steve is a respected coach within the club’s academy, which has been a complicating factor in the player’s decision to leave his boyhood team.

Harrison’s departure is a big blow for Newcastle, who have made great strides to strengthen their academy since the arrival of Dan Ashworth as sporting director last summer.

Over the last 12 months, United have added Alex Murphy, who featured in last night’s first-team win over Rangers, Charlie McArthur, Reece Byrne, Jude Smith, Jordan Hackett, Amadou Diallo and Garang Kuol to their youth ranks.

Gambian 18-year-old winger Yankuba Minteh became Newcastle’s first summer signing last month from Odense before joining Dutch champions Feyenoord on a season-long loan.

Off the field, Paul Midgley (Head of Head of Youth Recruitment) and Paul McLaren (Head of National Youth Scouting 13s to 18s) have joined from Manchester City, while Edward Black (Lead Academy Scout U9s to U14s), Delroy Ebanks (Academy Lead Scout for the South of England), Andy Basterfield (North West Regional scout) and Claire Burrows are among those to join from Arsenal, West Ham, Manchester United and Leicester City, respectively.