Borussia Dortmund is targeting another English player who can be the next starlet after the rise of Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham with the German club. He is Carney Chukwuemeka, who plays for Aston Villa. His contract with the English club ends next season.
Chukwuemeka’s contract at Villa Park expires at the end of next season. Though player and club have been discussing a new deal, manager Steven Gerrard admitted there had been scant progress after Villa’s 3-0 victory at Leeds earlier this month.
Asked at Elland Road about Chukwuemeka’s future, Gerrard said: ‘As far as I know they (contract talks) haven’t progressed. We’ve done everything we can from our side to try and make them progress. I’m not sure where that’s up to at the moment.’
Several European clubs have been following the progress of Chukwuemeka, 18, long before he made his Premier League debut against Brentford last August.
Since then, the midfielder has made a further eight appearances in the top flight, though he has not been featured since Villa lost 1-0 at Newcastle on February 13.
Dortmund has been watching Chukwuemeka closely, encouraged by the success of England internationals Sancho and Bellingham in the Bundesliga.
Sancho joined Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 and established himself as one of the most exciting wide players in Europe before joining Manchester United for 76 million pounds last summer.
Bellingham, meanwhile, arrived from Birmingham for a deal worth up to 30 million pounds in summer 2020.
He was born in Austria to Nigerian parents. He represents England at the youth international level, most recently captaining the England U19 side. Chukwuemeka played academy football for Northampton Town, moving to the Aston Villa Academy aged twelve.
Chukwuemeka joined the Aston Villa academy from the Northampton Town academy in March 2016. He signed his first professional contract with Villa in July 2020.
Chukwuemeka made his senior debut for the team in on 19 May 2021 in a 2–1 away victory over Tottenham Hotspur, hitting the post within minutes of entering the game. On 23 May 2021, he was named Aston Villa Academy Player of the Season for the 2020–21 season. The following day, Chukwuemeka was part of the Aston Villa U18s squad that won the FA Youth Cup, beating Liverpool U18s 2–1 in the final.
Chukwuemeka made his first senior start on 28 August 2021 in a 1–1 draw against Brentford, a performance Paul Merson hailed as “outstanding”, adding “he will be an absolute star”.