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February 17, 2017
Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke will reportedly leave Stamford Bridge in the summer after contract negotiations ended, with the Blues unwilling to meet the striker’s demands for a £50,000-a-week salary.
According to Simon Johnson in the Evening Standard, the highly-rated 19-year-old also wanted a guarantee of regular game time, and he has now “been telling friends he is going to sign for Liverpool” when his current deal—worth £7,000 per week—expires in the summer.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted that Solanke’s departure seems inevitable, per the Mirror‘s John Cross:
John Cross @johncrossmirror
Conte admits he needs “a crystal ball” to see what the future is Dominic Solanke. “I think it’s his will (to leave).”
An England under-21 international, Solanke is a talented player and netted 61 goals for a variety of Chelsea youth teams between 2013 and 2015, per Johnson.
He spent last season on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, scoring seven goals and providing one assist in 25 league appearances, per WhoScored.com.
However, he has done little to deserve the wages he was demanding from Chelsea, and it has been somewhat inevitable for some time that he would leave west London, per the Daily Telegraph‘s Matt Law:
Solanke has not been able to break into the senior setup at Chelsea and has not turned out for the first team since his 2014 debut in the UEFA Champions League against Maribor.
Chelsea’s attacking depth is such that they have not needed to take a chance on those in their youth ranks, especially not a 19-year-old making unreasonable demands.
Diego Costa is backed up by Michy Batshuayi in the first-team squad, and Eden Hazard has excelled in the No. 9 role when he has been called upon to play through the middle in 2016-17.
Per Johnson, if and when Solanke departs, Chelsea will still be entitled to a fee of at least £8 million even if he is out contract.
Liverpool could be a good place for Solanke to thrive given their setup and manager Jurgen Klopp’s willingness to promote youth, but he is likely going to have to lower his wage demands if he is to earn a move anywhere.