Chelsea reach agreement to sign Ecuadorean youngster Paez

Chelsea have reached an agreement to sign exciting Ecuador Under-20 international Kendry Paez from Independiente del Valle, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 16-year-old midfielder, who is considered among the brightest talents in South America and has made five appearances for leaders Independiente del Valle in Ecuador’s top-flight this season, will join Chelsea after he turns 18 in May 2025.

Paez was a key player for Ecuador at this year’s Under-17 Copa America, scoring two goals as they finished runners-up to Brazil.

The teenager is Chelsea’s first signing of the close season as they look to rebuild under new manager Mauricio Pochettino after finishing in 12th place — their worst finish since 1994.