Lazio To Beat Chelsea In Signing 18-Year-Old Ojodu City Striker

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Italian club Lazio is keen on signing Hafiz Umar Ibrahim from Nationwide League One (NLO) side Ojodu City Football Club, who was previously linked to a move to Chelsea after his successful trial at the club in March.

The 18-year-old Nigerian wonderkid attracted interest from several top European clubs after registering 10 goals in six games at the Viareggio Cup earlier this year.

In the past, Chelsea were unable to sign players directly from Africa, but their partnership with French club Strasbourg has meant they’re now able to compete with clubs in Europe for African talents at a young age.

Earlier this year, The Evening Standard reported that Ibrahim, a 6ft 2in player who plays for Ojodu City in Nigeria, had a video phone call with Raheem Sterling, who convinced him to take up the trial at Chelsea.

LondonWorld has been exclusively told Chelsea are still interested in signing the striker but haven’t been able to agree on a fee with his Nigerian club, which has left the door open for Lazio, who have been monitoring the situation, to register their interest.

Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt are also reportedly interested in the striker, whose playing style has been likened to Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. When asked which player he modelled his game after, he told NigeriaSoccerNet, “[I like Lukaku] because he fights, he’s strong, he scores, he helps his team, he does everything.”