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Chelsea, Liverpool, Bayern Munich beaten by Leipzig to £8.6m wonderkid signing

:Headline: Chelsea, Liverpool, Bayern Munich beaten by Leipzig to £8.6m wonderkid signing:
RB Leipzig win the race to sign 18-year-old Schalke 04 wonderkid Assan Ouedraogo, who has been linked to a list of European Giants including Chelsea and Liverpool.
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RB Leipzig have won the race to sign 18-year-old Schalke 04 wonderkid Assan Ouedraogo, who had been linked to a list of European Giants including Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

Ouedraogo joined the Royal Blues in 2014 and progressed through several of the club's youth academy teams, while he was also a member of the German under-17 squad that won the World Cup and Euros.

The midfielder's playing time was restricted last season due to injury, but he did feature in 17 matches in the German second division, scoring three goals and providing two assists in that time.

Chelsea, who confirmed former Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo as their first signing under new boss Enzo Maresca last week, were believed to have held a strong interest in Ouedraogo, but will now have to look elsewhere.

Leipzig beat European giants to Ouedraogo signature

While his impressive performances attracted the interest of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, Leipzig were the side that managed to secure an agreement and wasted no time in triggering his £8.6m release clause, as reported by Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg.

The report adds that the Red Bull club tabled an offer that will see the teenager remain with them until the summer of 2029.

It is understood that Leipzig's plan is to assess the youngster's performance during preseason alongside the likes of Amadou Haidara, Xaver Schlager and Dani Olmo.

However, if he struggles to break into the first-team lineup, the club may consider sending the 18-year-old back on a season-long loan to Schalke before the transfer window shuts.

Bayern also signalled their interest in the player but ultimately decided against paying the release clause to secure his signature this summer.

The Bavarians are currently navigating a unique situation, with sporting director Christoph Freund and Max Eberl reportedly tasked with squad rejuvenation and overall salary reduction efforts this summer.

The club have also indicated they are willing to part ways with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Joshua Kimmich, who are on big-money contracts at the Allianz Arena.

Ouedraogo looking forward to new challenge with Leipzig

In a statement to the media, Ouedraogo expressed his delight and explained the reason behind his decision to choose Leipzig as his next destination.

He said: "I am very happy to be part of RB Leipzig from July. It is of course a big step for me, but I am ready for this new challenge and look forward to everything that awaits me in Leipzig.

"I am coming to a club that is one of the best clubs in the Bundesliga , plays in the Champions League and has outstanding conditions and a clear philosophy. Many talented players have been able to mature into top players here in recent years and develop at the highest level. That is also my goal.

"It was 10 great years at FC Schalke 04. Everything I have learned in football so far, I learned at Schalke and I am very grateful for that time."

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