Cristian Manea never signed for Chelsea from Viitorul - sources
Cristian Manea has never been a Chelsea player, club sources have told ESPN FC, despite reports that claimed they had signed the Romanian defender from Viitorul Constanta in March 2015.
It was widely reported that Manea, an 18-year-old full-back currently on loan at Belgian club Mouscron, had been purchased from Viitorul by Chelsea in a deal worth around £2.3 million.
But the transfer was never announced by Chelsea and Manea is not listed among the club's 33 loanees on their website, though Mouscron still claim to have acquired the youngster from the Blues.
Now an investigation by Pro Sport in Romania claims that Manea was instead sold to Cypriot club Apollon Limassol before being loaned to Mouscron.
And sources have told ESPN FC that while Manea was offered to Chelsea last year, they opted not to sign him and have never had any formal connection to the player or his registration.
ESPN FC has also learned that Mouscron proposed a feeder club agreement with Chelsea, but the offer was declined on the grounds that while the Premier League champions enjoy productive loan relationships with numerous clubs -- most notably Vitesse who have taken 19 different players from Stamford Bridge since the summer of 2010 -- they are not involved in any such formal arrangements.