Chelsea have joined Manchester United in lining up a move for Rochdale “wonderkid” Luke Matheson, according to reports.

The right-back, who has just turned 15, has dazzled onlookers with recent performances for the League One outfit’s academy side in recent months, which has led to him travelling with the first team’s matchday squad for their previous two fixtures.

According to Rochdale manager Keith Hill, however, the starlet may be some time off from getting a taste of first-team action. He told the club’s official website: “Luke is off school for Christmas and we’re using the opportunity to integrate him into the first-team environment.

“He’s travelling to the games and he’s training with us, but at this moment in time because of his age, he can’t be part of a first-team squad. The players are getting used to him being on the training pitch and he’s certainly not diluting training.”

Blues set for January approach

ESPN reports that both the Blues and United have scouted Matheson and may look to make a formal approach in the January transfer window, in line with each club’s desire to sign the best youngsters in English football. Indeed, Rochdale has been somewhat of a hotbed for youth talent in recent years, with the likes of Danny Drinkwater and John Stones both being mentored by Hill, who said of Matheson, “It’s special when you see the excitement in his eyes.”

The Lancashire side will be desperate to hang on to a player that is already being touted as one of the most exciting prospects in England, but the allure of playing for a Premier League side at such a young age may prove too strong – and Rochdale, too, may struggle to turn down the accompanying transfer fee.