ETHAN AMPADU has undergone a medical at RB Leipzig, according to reports.
The Chelsea youngster, 18, is on course to join the Bundesliga side on a season-long loan.
He was left behind as the squad flew to the Far East for pre-season in the hope he would complete a deal.
And now according to Sky Germany, he has taken a big step towards the temporary switch.
Frank Lampard revealed earlier this week he is happy to send the versatile player out on loan to build first-team experience.
The new Blues boss said: “Ethan is not here as we’re looking at the possibility of him going on loan for the season.
“I tried to sign Ethan on loan at Derby last year, so I’m a big fan, but with the minutes he played last year, I have to think of the bigger picture and the interests of Ethan and of Chelsea.
“The idea that he could play a lot of games somewhere is good for him and we haven’t brought him here while that is up in the air.”
There were suggestions that Aston Villa were also interested in Ampadu but he looks set to follow in the footsteps of plenty of other young British players in recent years by heading to the Bundesliga.
Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe headed to Leipzig last term but got injured while Reiss Nelson headed to Hoffenheim and Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund on a permanent basis in 2017.
Everton’s Ademola Lookman went on loan to RB Leipzig in the 2017/18 season and the German side are reportedly trying to secure a deal to sign him for £22.5million.
Lepzig will be able to offer Ampadu regular first-team action and Champions League football.
Boss Julian Nagelsmann is looking to bolster his squad after qualifying for Europe’s top competition.
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And Ampadu can give him options at centre-back and defensive-midfield.
Lampard, however, is going to keep plenty of the other Chelsea youngsters and integrate them into the first team this season.
The likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori – who impressed on loan at Derby last season – are being given minutes in pre-season and are making the most of their opportunities.