Birmingham teenager Jude Bellingham has been warned off a switch to Chelsea, with the youngster urged by Frank Sinclair to explore other options if a Premier League move is to be made.
At just 16 years of age, the Blues starlet has become one of the most sought-after talents in English football.
A number of leading top-flight clubs are said to be readying bids that will see them buy into Bellingham’s undoubted potential.
Chelsea are among those said to be mulling over an approach, with Frank Lampard placing considerable faith in youth during his reign at Stamford Bridge.
It is easy to see why Bellingham would appeal to the Blues, but he needs to be playing regularly in order to further his development.
That may prove difficult in west London, given the fierce competition for places, and Sinclair says the England Under-17 international needs to give careful consideration to a big future call.
The former Chelsea defender told GentingBet of Bellingham: “He has to think about playing games, getting better and improving as a player – which I think will be very difficult for him to do at Chelsea.
“You look at the youngsters coming through the ranks at Chelsea and you’d say that there are better players coming through the academy than Bellingham anyway.
“So, if he is going to move on from Birmingham and kick on at a higher level, it is really important that he goes to a club where he can play week in, week out as that’s the only way he’ll improve and fulfil the potential that he’s got.
“I think Bellingham needs to be very wary of his next move.”
Bellingham broke into Birmingham’s midfield early in the 2019-20 campaign and had taken in 32 senior appearances before football shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak.
It is considered to be only a matter of time before he is lured away from St Andrew’s, with interest in his signature building steadily.
Manchester United are reported to be leading the chase, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer another manager looking to build for the future with his transfer business.
Borussia Dortmund have also looked to polish rough diamonds on a regular basis down the years and would welcome the opportunity to add Bellingham to their ranks in Germany.
It has, however, been suggested that an offer of around £30 million ($37m) will be required in order to tempt Birmingham into parting with a prized asset.