Chelsea handed surprise boost in race to sign Odegaard favourite

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 26 Feb 2024 09:39 GMT
  • 3 min read
Martin Odegaard, Chelsea, Arsenal, 2023/24

Fabrizio Romano has handed Chelsea a major boost in their pursuit of Club Brugge wonderkid Antonio Nusa, who has previously been dubbed the ‘Norwegian Neymar.’

Nusa, 18, was close to joining the Blues on Transfer Deadline Day last summer, but a potential move broke down in the final hours of the window.

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The Club Brugge winger was then set to join Brentford in January after Thomas Frank’s side reached a full agreement to sign him. However, a knee injury was identified during his medical and Brentford pulled out of the deal.

FootballTransfers understands that Chelsea also lodged an offer to sign Nusa in January, but the Blues were unsuccessful in their attempt.

Despite this, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be able to revisit Nusa this summer, without competition from Brentford.

That is according to Romano, who told CaughtOffside: “I don’t see Brentford trying again for Antonio Nusa. I’m told this is not something concrete.

“For other clubs, [the] race is completely open so any club from [the] Premier League but also from other countries can still negotiate for Nusa. I still see him leaving Club Brugge in the summer.”

Although over €1 billion has been spent on new signings since Todd Boehly replaced Roman Abramovich in 2022, Chelsea are set to dip back into the transfer market during the summer window, largely in search of forward reinforcements.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen is a key target, while Brighton’s Evan Ferguson and Sporting CP’s Viktor Gyokeres are also admired. Nusa is another option, although he profiles more as a winger than a centre-forward.

Martin Odegaard a huge fan of Antonio Nusa

Antonio Nusa, Club Brugge
© IMAGO - Antonio Nusa, Club Brugge

Nusa has three goals and three assists in 19 Belgian Pro League appearances so far this season, although he has only started nine games.

The Norwegian has also impressed on the international stage and he has already won the affection of Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard. In September, the Gunners star admitted: "He [Nusa] is an incredibly exciting player.

“You see it, everything he gets the ball, it’s exciting. He is still young and will get even better.

“He must continue as he has done. Work hard, be humble. He’s a nice boy. Very calm and nice type. It’s going to be just fine.

“He just has to enjoy the football and continue to deliver as he does. Then it will be good.”

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