Hotly-tipped Chelsea starlet is being lined up for a loan move to the Championship in the New Year – with Brighton one of the likely destinations.
The hugely-rated 18-year-old Josh McEachran has found himself on the fringes of first team action at Stamford Bridge but, with the emergence of Oriol Romeu as genuine competition for John Obi Mikel in the most up-for-grabs midfield slot, his short-term chances of Premier League action are limited.
And, with Chelsea out of the Carling Cup and now approaching the business end of the Champions League, Andre Villas Boas is likely to farm some of his youngsters out to get first team experience.
Ideally, he would join another Premier League club, but that might be made difficult by a ruling that any side can only loan one player to another team in the same division.
Bolton Wanderers, who last season benefited from Daniel Sturridge’s short spell in Lancashire, already have Gael Kakuta at the Reebok.
Another option being discussed is McEachran being offered as part of a deal to take England defender Gary Cahill to west London.
An attack-minded left-football central midfield player, McEachran faces stiff competition at Chelsea – where even England international and club legend Frank Lampard is now not certain of a starting place.
And sources at the club have suggested the England Under 21 international could be made available to former Chelsea star Gustavo Poyet here on the south coast.
McEachran became the first player to be born after the Champions League started back in 1992 to take part in the competition when he made his debut for Chelsea against MŠK Žilina last year.
Brighton have been mentioned alongside Nottingham Forest as a potential January destination.