A Whitton teenager will return to his homeland of Romania to start his career as a professional footballer.

Goalkeeper Andrei Stanescu, 16, has signed a two-year contract with top Romanian side Steaua Bucharest after impressing during a trial over Easter.

Andrei had the choice of playing for London sides Fulham or Chelsea but says the pull of his hometown club was too strong.

He will now return to Romania with his family after finishing his GCSEs at Twickenham School in time for the club’s pre-season this summer.

Andrei, who also plays for the Romanian youth national team, is expected to earn around £1,500 a week for his first pro contract.

He said: “It is an amazing opportunity for me. When they asked me to sign I can’t explain the feeling. It’s like everything you have ever dreamt of and worked for is coming true.

“The chance to play for my hometown club was something I could not pass up. I know Chelsea and Fulham are big clubs but think I will have more opportunities to get into the first team at Steaua.

“It will be great training with the first team as lots of the players there will be my idols.

Andrei also thanked teachers Twickenham School for supporting him through his GCSE.

He added: “The school have been amazing. When you are wrapped up in football then it is hard to keep yourself focused on studies but teachers here have made me realise how important it is.

“They have really kept me grounded and been very supportive of my career. I will be sad to leave the school.”

Headteacher Assal Ruse said: “It is always a pleasure to hear when young people excel at anything.

“Andrei is a delightful student and deserves all the success. He has worked incredibly hard to earn this achievement.”