The report indicates that a £1.25 million fee has been agreed between the two clubs, with a four-year contract offer tabled, with the youngster immediately going on loan to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, as has been the Blues priority in recent years.
Considering the West Londoners have done much in the last few seasons to improve their youth system by signing some real high quality prospects, it looks as if they may have just captured another future star, and so here are five facts to get you in the know concerning the future Stamford Bridge arrival.
1) Primarily a central midfielder, 18-year-old Pantic can also play in an offensive midfield position, although his goal record does little to speak of his offensive talents. 24 appearances for Partizan have brought just two goals, but he has cemented himself as a central part of the Belgrade-based side who currently lead the title race in the Jelen SuperLiga.
2) Also a Serbian youth international, Pantic is currently captain of the Under-19 side, having also turned out with the Under-16’s and Under-17’s. He has made nine appearances for the Under-19’s scoring two goals.
3) Due to his short contract, which expires in the summer, it was reported by the Guardian last year that Pantic had agreed a pre-contract agreement with Serie A side Juventus. How that claim was refuted, and, although the Bianconeri have retained an interest in the Serb, it appears as if Chelsea have beaten them to his signature.
4) With the report indicating that Pantic will immediately go on loan to Vitesse, the youngster has openly addressed this move, claiming that he is happy to go on loan with no chance of breaking into the Blues first-team at his young age. Quoted by WAGNH, Pantic said: “At 18 you can hardly have a chance with Chelsea, where they play experienced and already proven stars of world football. So I like the idea of playing with Vitesse very much. I think that the Dutch league is ideal for a young player to acquire habits of Western notions of professionalism and develop properly. In the Netherlands, the game is open and it will suit me.”
5) Having progressed through the Partizan academy, Pantic is a youth product of one of the best academy systems in Europe. According to a CIES study published in the previously linked Guardian article, Partizan are second to just Ajax for their development of young players. Should he be a success with Chelsea, the Serbian club can claim to have developed the next star of European football.