West Bromwich Albion have confirmed they turned down an offer from Chelsea for highly rated academy star Isaiah Brown.
The 16-year-old made his Premier League debut for the Baggies last season but has been looking for a move away from The Hawthorns to a bigger club this summer. The Blues have been monitoring the midfielder for some time and have now made an official approach for him.
"Albion have rejected an offer from Chelsea for academy product Isaiah Brown. Under Premier League rules the Baggies are due compensation from the London club for the 16-year-old midfielder, who has been at The Hawthorns for three years and had agreed to sign scholarship forms," read a statement on the club's website.
West Brom sporting and technical director Richard Garlick expressed his disappointment at Chelsea's offer and insisted they are ready to seek substantial compensation from the Blues at an independent tribunal.
"We are disappointed by Chelsea's offer. We have invested a lot of time and money in Isaiah's development as a player and - as one of our most exciting academy products in recent years - we had hoped to bring him through into our first team. But Chelsea have forced our hands and we are more than prepared for the matter to be decided by a tribunal if needs be," the Baggies chief pointed out.
"More importantly, it makes you question why these young players are joining bigger clubs when they are likely to gain more first-team opportunities in the Barclays Premier League at clubs similar to us," Garlick added.
Brown operates mainly as a central midfielder but is versatile and can be deployed in a variety of other positions as well. The player has represented England at U-16 and U-17 levels and has been touted as future regular of the Three Lions' senior squad.
Brown's appearance against Wigan Athletic last season had made him the second-youngest player in Premier League history.