Bristol Rovers ‘closing in’ on transfer of Chelsea’s England U20 captain Harvey Vale
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Football London's Chelsea writer Bobby Vincent says that Vale is 'close to finaling' a loan move to the Memorial Stadium. The move should be confirmed either later today or tomorrow, and it is understood that Chelsea will have a ‘break clause’ should they want to recall him in January.
The 19-year-old was a target for Joey Barton in the January transfer window but he could not make the move as he'd already represented two clubs competitively in the same year. Vale though will now get the opportunity to play regular first-team football, and play under a manager who has helped shape Elliot Anderson's career from Under-21's football to gearing up to playing in the Champions League.
If all goes to plan and the deadline is met then he could either make his debut against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night, or get several days training under his belt to feature against Cambridge United. He would become the third season-long loan signing of the season following the arrivals of Matt Cox and Tristan Crama from Chelsea’s West London rivals Brentford. Rovers would have two more spaces for season-long loanees and are allowed a total of five loanees in their 18-man match-day squad.
Vale is the captain of England U20', and featured in the FIFA U20 World Cup this summer in Argentina, getting an assist in the 1-0 win over Tunisia. He shared the pitch with Jarell Quansah who was on loan at Rovers from Liverpool last season.
Vale is highly rated by Chelsea, and has two-years remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge. He has made five senior appearances to date for the Blues, appearing twice in the Carabao Cup, and three times in the FA Cup with his last outing coming against Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals in March 2022. Vale was an unused substitute last August for Chelsea's match with Southampton, before being loaned out.
He was on loan at Hull last year but was limited to just three appearances and started just once in a six-month loan spell at the MKM Stadium. Vale returned to Chelsea's U21's and got three goals and four assists for them in 14 games, playing mainly as an attacking midfielder.