The Paradise News | How Chelsea beat Newcastle to the signing of Jamaica wonderkid Dujuan 'Whisper' Richards | The Paradise

How Chelsea beat Newcastle to the signing of Jamaica wonderkid Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards

Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards was convinced to sign for Chelsea by ‘more guarantees’ over his future along with the Blues’ ‘willingness’ to work with his academy in Jamaica. That is according to the striker’s representative and Phoenix All Stars Academy president Craig Butler, who has explained why the talented teenager turned Newcastle United down.

News of the Magpies’ interest in Richards emerged in January, and the 17-year-old was pictured in the stands at St James’ Park as Eddie Howe’s side drew with West Ham. The striker enjoyed a two-week trial on Tyneside, and confirmed in an exclusive interview that he was ‘expecting’ to sign for Newcastle.

However, Chelsea stole a march on their Premier League rivals at the 11th hour to lure Richards to Stamford Bridge. The deal was announced via social media on March 11, with a pre-contract agreement in place until the striker celebrates his 18th birthday on October 11.

READ MORE: Sander Berge breaks silence on January transfer window ‘interest’ amid Newcastle United links

Butler previously confirmed Chelsea’s offer was ‘better from a financial perspective’, while also stressing the pathway presented for Richards to one day become a first-team player. The striker’s representative has now cast further light on the transfer tug-of-war, insisting the Blues also held an edge in negotiations when it came to a partnership agreement with Phoenix All Stars Academy, which has already seen graduate Leon Bailey make a mark in the Premier League.

Butler told ChronicleLive: “Dujuan was offered a contract and we are grateful for the opportunity from the club [Newcastle]. The staff and club in general were very accommodating and the environment was wonderful.

“In the end, Chelsea was able to provide more guarantees for the future of the player. Additionally, Chelsea presented a willingness to work with our academy and support us in terms of the exchange of coaches and football education.

“We deemed it to be paramount to our continuing to develop young top players like Leon Bailey and Dujuan. That willingness to share and provide coaching clinics and opportunities for our coaches to get badges was truly a huge decision-maker. We felt long term for Whisper and Phoenix this was best.”



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