Premier League - Chelsea teen 'will earn £1.7m before 20th birthday'

Chelsea youth player Ruben Loftus-Cheek will reportedly earn £1.7m before his 20th birthday regardless of whether he ever makes the grade at Stamford Bridge, but is nonetheless embroiled in a contract row.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea, NextGen Series, December 2012 (PA Sport)

The Sunday Mirror report that the 17-year-old midfielder, who has been at the club since the age of eight and is reckoned to be one of English football’s brightest prospects, will earn a basic salary of around £7,000 a week. He has also pocketed a signing-on fee of £375,000, and will be eligible for loyalty bonuses worth a further £350,000 over the next few years.

But his agent, Joseph Donkor, has taken Chelsea to an FA tribunal to win £1.3m in unpaid fees, the paper adds, believing he had an agreement with the club to negotiate Loftus-Cheek’s first professional deal, with a substantial commission at stake.

A Chelsea spokesman said: “The FA rules contain strict confidentiality obligations and prohibit the club or any other party under the jurisdiction of the FA from commenting on arbitration issues.”

The deal for Loftus-Cheek’s first contract is the largest ever awarded by Chelsea for a home-grown junior player – and was so substantial that owner Roman Abramovich had to sign it off himself.

Beyond the guaranteed sums, there are equally substantial bonuses should Loftus-Cheek progress from the youth ranks to the first team. He will pocket £10,000 per start for Chelsea’s first-team, and half as much if he appears as a substitute, while England Under-21 appearances would net £5,000 each time, with an extra £1,000 on top should he captain the side.

Once he had made five appearances for the club, Chelsea would be obligated to negotiate a new (and presumably improved) contract with the teenager.

Loftus-Cheek has reportedly attracted interest from the likes of the two Manchester clubs and even Barcelona.

He has yet to make a first-team appearance, and his last action for the club was in the Chelsea Under-21s 0-1 defeat to Everton.

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