Blackburn manager Mark Hughes has beaten off competition from Chelsea to sign highly-rated 15-year-old centre-half Gavin Gunning.
Hughes' capture of Gunning represents a major coup
The Republic of Ireland Under-15 international, who has been likened to former Arsenal defender Tony Adams, had been scouted several times by Chelsea.
However, he opted to snub the champions in favour of a move to Ewood Park.
The player's agent, John Stokes, said: "He was watched by several clubs but has worked very hard to get here."
The deal represents a major coup for Rovers, who are targeting a European place this season.
However, it is the second time in a month Chelsea have been snubbed by a promising youngster following Theo Walcott's decision to join Arsenal over the Blues from Southampton.