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Fulham are the favourites to sign versatile Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu on loan, according to a report from the Athletic tonight.

Norwich City made an audacious bid to land the Welsh international on loan as they begin their preparations for life in the Championship, but Chelsea are keen for the teenager to play top flight football if at all possible. Ampadu, who has made a bright start to life at Stamford Bridge after making an eye-catching breakthrough at Exeter City, endured a frustrating spell on loan at RB Leipzig, where he made just three league appearances and was sidelined by a back problem.

Ampadu has made twelve senior appearances for Chelsea, but has just one league appearance to his name – when he came off the bench against Huddersfield three years ago. Equally at home in central defence or as a holding midfielder, the ball-playing talent could provide cover in critical positions for Scott Parker as looks to give his squad the sort of depth necessary to be competitive in the Premier League.

Ampadu has enjoyed a meteoric rise since becoming Exeter’s youngest ever player – and winning man of the match – when he starred against Brentford aged just fifteen in August 2016. He made eight senior appearances for the Grecians before joining Chelsea the following July, with a tribunal eventually setting the fee at around £85,000. He signed a five-year contract with the Blues in September 2018 and, whilst Frank Lampard rates Ampadu’s potential as extremely high, he is understood to consider another loan opportunity as best for the defender’s development.

Ampadu, whose father Kwame also played for Exeter, has won thirteen senior caps for Wales, having made his debut as a substitute against France in November 2017. Turkish side Trabzonspor, who appointed the former Chelsea midfielder and assistant coach Eddie Newton as their permanent boss last week, are reportedly keen on offering Amapdu another foreign loan.