Southampton in talks with Chelsea over permanent move for Armando Broja

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<span>Photograph: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock

Southampton are holding talks with Chelsea over the possible transfer of Armando Broja, who has impressed since moving to St Mary’s on loan.

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The 20-year-old has scored five league goals since joining Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side at the start of the season and Southampton would like to sign the forward on a permanent basis.

It remains to be seen if the Albania international is part of Chelsea’s long-term plans. The situation is expected to become clearer this week, with Southampton aware that other clubs will be interested if the forward becomes available.

Broja, who spent last season on loan at Vitesse in the Netherlands, is a boyhood Chelsea fan and came through the Stamford Bridge club’s highly respected academy. He was handed his senior debut by Frank Lampard in March 2020 and his contract does not expire until 2026. Thomas Tuchel, who had a close look at Broja during pre-season last summer, may want to see if the Albanian is capable of making an impact for the European champions next season.

There is a sense that Broja will be given an opportunity to break into Chelsea’s first team if he is still at the club next season. Chelsea’s forwards have struggled for consistency this season and Tuchel was critical of Romelu Lukaku after his side’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday. Lukaku, who became Chelsea’s record signing when he joined for £97.5m last summer, has only scored five league goals since his move.

Chelsea fans will want Broja to be given a chance. They have seen academy graduates such as Mason Mount, Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Callum Hudson-Odoi establish themselves in the first team, but they were frustrated to see other youngsters leave last summer. Tino Livramento, the exciting 19-year-old right-back, joined Southampton, Marc Guéhi joined Crystal Palace, Leeds signed Lewis Bate and Tammy Abraham was sold to Roma.

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