Marseille are attempting to hijack Ike Ugbo’s transfer to Genk, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Chelsea striker spent last season on loan at Genk’s fellow Jupiler Pro League side Cercle Brugge. Chelsea and Genk had agreed a fee for the former England youth international.
Marseille Trying to Hijack Ike Ugbo Deal
Young Striker Wanted By Many
Ike Ugbo joined Chelsea 2007 and had his first taste of senior football in the 2017/18 season in the Championship with Barnsley. That lasted for half a season, and after scoring just one goal in 16 appearances, he joined League One side MK Dons in January. He returned to League One in 2018/19 with Scunthorpe United and then went to Eerste Divisie side Roda. It was last season that he really came on the radar of teams. He finished as Cercle Brugge’s top scorer, scoring 19 times. He was also among the top goalscorers in the Belgian league.
Ugbo joined up with the extended Chelsea squad in pre-season under Thomas Tuchel. He even scored Chelsea’s winner against Arsenal in their Mind Series friendly.
Marseille’s Summer of Change
Marseille have had an upheaval of sorts this summer. Experienced stars such as Yuto Nagatomo, Hiroki Sakai and Florian Thauvin have departed the club. Young, talented players have arrived, such as the Arsenal loanee duo Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba. They also signed Konrad de la Fuente from Barcelona, Cengiz Under and Pau Lopez from Roma. They’ve also shopped from Brazil, with Gerson arriving from Flamengo and Luan Peres from Santos. Centre-back Leonardo Balerdi’s loan from Dortmund has also been made permanent.
Marseille, who finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season, are building a young and hungry team under Jorge Sampaoli, who replaced Villas-Boas in February. Ugbo is their latest target as they look for a young striker.
Ugbo’s transfer to Genk was expected to go through very soon after an agreement between all parties. However, Marseille’s approach has thrown a spanner into the works and complicated the decision. Ugbo will consider both opportunities and make a decision in the coming days.