Aston Villa transfer left Wayne Rooney furious as Chelsea close in on signing

Wayne Rooney prior to the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium.
-Credit: (Image: Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

Chelsea are closing in on a move for Aston Villa youngster Omari Kellyman, according to reports.

The Telegraph claims that the Blues have opened negotiations around the 18-year-old with Villa setting their value at £20 million. Talks started amid negotiations between he two sides on possible transfers for Ian Maatsen, Jhon Duran and Conor Gallagher.

Kellyman has made six first team appearances for Villa since arriving at the club from Derby County back in 2022. However, most of his appearances have come for the club’s development side where he scored seven goals in 11 Premier League 2 appearances last season.

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His move to Villa came amid financial trouble at Derby. The club were in administration when the teenager completed the move across the midlands, the Rams were handed a compensation fee of around £500,000 for the youngster.

But speaking just after discovering the move was taking place, then Derby manager Wayne Rooney couldn’t hide his frustration at the situation. "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," he said at the time, via DerbyshireLive.

"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.

"The club has generated quite a bit of money with the nine players going out. Hopefully, that can be proof of funds until the end of the season, hopefully that means the embargo gets lifted because there are still free agents out there that I can look at trying to bring in.”

Rooney added: "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.

"I am not from 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."

Kellyman didn’t make a first team appearance for Derby, but was included in the matchday squad for one Championship game and was highly rated at Pride Park. The teenager had represented Northern Ireland up until U18 level, but has since switched to England, earning seven caps for the U19 team and a call-up to the U20 side.

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