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Fulham have stolen a march on Leeds United in the race to sign Chelsea rising star Ashley Akpan, according to reports this morning.

The defender, who turned 16 earlier this month, had been on trial at Leeds but Fulham have invited him to spend time at Motspur Park with their youth team set-up this week. Akpan will not be offered a scholarship at Stamford Bridge and is now considering his next move.

Capped by Poland at under-15 level, he is also eligible to represent Nigeria and England. Akpan can play in midfield and his versatility and undoubted potential makes him an attractive option for any number of Championship clubs seeking academy depth.