Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Lewis Bate from Chelsea for what football.london understands is an initial fee of around £1.5million.
The midfielder is highly rated by the Blues’ academy staff and the club had hoped to agree a new long-term contract with the 18-year-old.
football.london understands Bate was offered a lucrative deal by Chelsea but with concerns over whether there would be a route for him to make the first team, that was turned down.
That meant the England youth international had less than 12 months remaining on his contract and interest in his services had emerged from a number of Premier League sides.
Leeds came to an agreement with Chelsea on Tuesday which will see the Blues receive an initial £1.5million with further significant add-ons and a sell-on fee percentage included.
Bate has signed a three-year contract with the Whites and will join up with Mark Jackson’s Under-23s for the forthcoming season.
After his departure was confirmed, Bate posted on Twitter: “Ten years ago I walked through the doors at Cobham for the first time, since then the players and staff I have worked with over the years have helped me become the person and player I am today.
“However, I now believe it is time to move on to a new chapter in my career. But first I would like to thank everyone at Chelsea who has supported and believed in me throughout my time at the club.
“I will forever be grateful to Chelsea for what they have done for me on and off the football pitch. I wish the club and everyone associated with it nothing but the best for the future.”
Confirmation of Bate’s move follows news that young defender Dynel Simeu is set to join Southampton.
The 19-year-old’s contract with the Blues expired last month but he was offered a new deal to remain with the club and continue his progress with the development squad.
However, Simeu decided against extending his stay at Chelsea and has agreed terms with hometown side Southampton.
As the Blues had offered Simeu a new contract, they would be due compensation for the defender which would be set by a tribunal.
But Chelsea and the Saints have come to terms over a deal for the academy graduate worth up to £1.5million if certain clauses are met during his time with the south coast club.
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