By 90Min
August 25, 2018

West Ham United are scouting highly-rated 17-year-old goalkeeper Tarek Naija, according to the Mirror.

Per their report, the Hammers' London neighbours Chelsea are also looking to sign the youngster for their academy and the clubs will be battling it out as the rest of the month runs down.

Scouts from both sides were in attendance when the player made his debut for Dagenham and Redbridge against Hornchurch on Tuesday. 

Dagenham lost 4-2 and Najia did concede four goals, yet he is believed to have impressed said scouts sufficiently and he could become the subject of a transfer war between the two capital clubs.

The Blues only recently broke the record fee for a goalkeeper by signing Kepa Arrizabalaga as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois, who joined Real Madrid. But they are reportedly looking to recruit the player into their academy as a potential understudy and successor to their new Spanish stopper.

Chelsea also have the advantage of owning the brightest academy in English football and have been dominating the game at youth level for several years. Conversely, their academy products are seldom handed opportunities to prove their worth.

West Ham, meanwhile, do have a reputation for blooding talent from their youth ranks, although they haven't had many graduates make it through to the first team in recent years.

Reece Oxford, one of their most highly-rated youngsters, is tipped to leave the club on loan this month, while another top product in Domingos Quina was sold to Watford this summer. Ironically, though, the latter was at Chelsea before moving to West Ham.

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