Chelsea to compete with Barcelona for 'new Marco Verratti'
Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Atakan Akkaynak has reportedly emerged as a winter target for both Chelsea and Barcelona.
The 18-year-old is yet to feature for the Leverkusen first-team, but his progress has caught the eye of the European elite.
According to The Express, both the Blues and Barca are keeping a close watch on Akkaynak, who has been dubbed as the 'new Marco Verratti'.
Akkaynak has already captained Germany at the Under-17 and Under-18 levels, and he recently made his debut for Under-19 squad in a 0-0 against Switzerland.
The teenager was offered the opportunity to represent earlier in the year, but he turned down the chance in order to gain reputation with the World Cup champions.
Barcelona had initially begun their scouting mission on the midfielder nearly a year ago, and the likes of Chelsea and AS Roma have followed suit to monitor his development.
No fee has been suggested for a proposed future transfer, but it is reported that Leverkusen could be willing to sell their youngster with just two years remaining on his contract.