Soccer-Chelsea reach agreement to sign Ecuadorean youngster Paez

The entrance to Chelsea Football Club’s stadium, Stamford Bridge, is seen following Britain’s imposing of sanctions on the club’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, in London, Britain, March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - 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, 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.

Midfielder 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.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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