Chelsea in talks to sign Barcelona's Marc Guiu - sources

Chelsea are in negotiations to sign Barcelona's Marc Guiu, but the Catalan club could yet make one last attempt to keep the young striker, multiple sources have told ESPN.

The Premier League side are willing to pay Guiu's €6 million ($5m) release clause, the sources add, while there is also interest from other clubs given the low cost of a potential transfer.

Barça have failed to make progress during contract negotiations with Guiu in recent months, with his existing deal expiring in 2025, but sources did not rule out a final offer in the coming days to try and persuade the 18-year-old forward to stay.

Chelsea lead the race, though, and have held positive talks with Guiu. They plan to incorporate him into the first-team squad, not send him out on loan, should he decide to join.

The London club have told Guiu's camp they are prepared to meet the €6m clause and are now waiting on the forward's final decision, which is expected this week.

Guiu has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Barça this season, scoring just 23 seconds into his first team debut to help secure a 1-0 win against Athletic Club last October. He also netted in the Champions League loss to Antwerp.

Despite training with the first team, he ended the season playing regularly for the B team as they pushed for promotion to the second tier of Spanish football. He scored six goals in 16 appearances for Barça Atlétic, although he was unable to find the target on Sunday as they lost to Córdoba in the playoff final.

Guiu is in his 11th year at the Barcelona having progressed through the academy and club sources explain that he is highly valued because, as a more traditional, tall No. 9, he has attributes which aren't often present in La Masia.

Sources inside Barça feel it was an error to give Guiu exposure in the first team without having first tied him down to a longer deal with a higher release clause.

Other youngsters who have broke through this season, including Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsí, Hector Fort and Marc Casadó, have all signed contracts with much more unattainable clauses.

Information from ESPN's James Olley contributed to this report.