Chelsea have completed the signing of Cesare Casadei from Inter Milan.
The Italian midfielder has agreed a six-year contract with the Blues.
The teenage midfielder is considered one of his homeland’s brightest prospects after shining at youth level for club and country, being part of the Italy side which reached the semi-finals of the European Under-19 Championship in the summer.
Casadei is known as a complete midfielder, combining physicality and strength in the air with great timing in the challenge and excellent technique, as well as intelligent movement when arriving in the penalty area to score goals.
He started his youth career with Cervia before catching the eye at Cesena, helping their Under-15s reach the national play-offs. When Cesena folded in 2018, he moved to Inter and made an instant impact, scoring a 95th-minute equaliser in the play-off quarter-finals as they became national Under-17 champions in 2018/19, despite still being a schoolboy and only turning 16 that January.
By the end of the following campaign he was a regular for the Nerazzurri’s Under-19s – the highest level of youth football in Italy – and starred for the team as they were crowned national champions last season, scoring a crucial equaliser as they beat Roma in the play-off final. In total he scored 16 goals in 38 appearances in the top-tier Primavera division and UEFA Youth League in 2021/22.
Casadei also frequently trained with Inter’s senior side last season, being named among the substitutes by manager Simone Inzaghi for the first time when they played Sassuolo in Serie A in February.
Head of youth development Neil Bath said: ‘Cesare is a player we have tracked for some time and we are delighted that he has now agreed to join Chelsea, where he will initially strengthen our Under-21s squad. He is another exciting emerging talent who we are looking forward to seeing develop and progress further as he breaks into senior football in the coming years.’