Chelsea close to signing Aston Villa player whose transfer left Wayne Rooney furious

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney
-Credit: (Image: Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Chelsea are in advanced talks after making a £20m transfer approach for breakout Aston Villa star Omari Kellyman. understands talks have begun between the two clubs for the 18-year-old who is highly rated in the West Midlands. The Englishman is natural in the attacking midfield position but has operated on both the left and right flank previously.

Kellyman joined from Derby County two years ago and signed a new contract at Villa in October. It is understood that the teenager fulfils a similar role to former Chelsea and current Arsenal man Kai Havertz.

He was sold by the Rams during Wayne Rooney's tenure at the club and the Manchester United legend was left furious about the decision. At the time of Kellyman's move to the West Midlands, Rooney said: "I lost a player this morning [Wednesday], a 16-year-old local lad. I got a text message this morning that a deal had been agreed with Aston Villa.

"That is nine players throughout January we have lost when I was assured we didn't have to lose any. So it is tough, but we keep fighting.

"He is a local lad from Derby, he didn't want to leave the club. He wanted to play for Derby County and so when you see young local lads getting sold from the football club it is hard.

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"I am not form Derby but I know what it is like to come through an Academy and have those dreams of playing for your team. It is a tough one for me and the staff to take."

It is understood Kellyman was mentioned by Chelsea while discussions were taking place regarding transfers involving Ian Maatsen, Jhon Duran and Conor Gallagher. Maatsen's move to Villa Park is currently seen as the closest to being completed with a £35m offer reportedly agreed.

Meanwhile, Chelsea's interest in Duran has not yet dropped. The Colombian scored eight goals last season as a centre-forward but was given limited playing time as he adjusted to the Premier League.

Despite his modest haul, Unai Emery is a big fan of Duran. It is believed that while the 20-year-old is happy at Villa, he does back himself to make a good impact at Chelsea if the opportunity arises.

Aston Villa's Omari Kellyman
Aston Villa's Omari Kellyman -Credit:Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Should Kellyman move to Chelsea, it would be another sign of the Blues sticking with their transfer philosophy of bringing young players to the club. Enzo Maresca has adopted one of the youngest squads in the division and it will be his job to ensure the lack of experienced heads does not prove to be an issue.