ALBION have today 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.
Albion Sporting & Technical Director (Designate) Richard Garlick said: “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.
“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.”
Brown has won three England Under-17s caps and two for the Under-16s, scoring his first goal at that level in a 4-3 friendly defeat by Germany in February.
Three months later he became the second youngest-ever Barclays Premier League player when he made his Baggies first-team debut as a substitute against Wigan, aged 16 years and 117 days.