Lesley Ugochukwu has completed his move to Chelsea after the Premier League club paid the French Ligue 1 club 27 million euros for his services.
The 19-year-old Nigerian-born French footballer signed a seven-year contract with Chelsea which will keep him at the club until June 30, 2030. A one-year extension option is also included in his contract.
Lesley Ugochukwu participated in one Europa League game and 47 Ligue 1 games for Rennes before he exited the club.
While he is still eligible to play for either the senior team of Nigeria or France, Ugochukwu has represented France at the under-17, under-18, and under-19 levels.
His arrival at Chelsea is seen as a move by Mauricio Pochettino to strengthen his midfield after the exit of midfield-minded players like Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, and Mason Mount in this summer transfer window.
However, there are reports that Lesley Ugochukwu, who made his senior Rennes debut just after turning 17 years old, may return on loan to Ligue 1 club, Strasbourg, which is owned by Chelsea’s owners, Todd Boehly and his consortium.
After spending £600 million over the previous two transfer windows, Chelsea has a plan to recruit young players with the potential to become future stars of the game while also slimming down their bloated squad.
After adding Ugochukwu to their list of youngsters, Chelsea’s co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: “He [Ugochukwu] is an impressive young player who has already made his mark in Ligue 1. He has a huge amount of potential and we know he is going to continue to develop and improve.
“We are pleased that he has joined us in the United States [on their pre-season tour] and that he will be able to integrate with the squad quickly.”
Lesley Ugochukwu’s arrival at Chelsea this summer is coming after the arrival of Nicolas Jackson, Christopher Nkunku, and a young Brazilian Angelo Gabriel.