Chelsea are reportedly ahead of Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United in the race to land Stoke City defender Nathan Collins.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the most promising and talented players outside of the Premier League.
The youngster made his first-team debut at the start of the campaign and has gone on to feature 12 times for his side, who are currently 17th in the EFL Championship.
Manchester United expressed interest in landing Collins the previous year but he ended up signing a new deal at Stoke as the Red Devils stalled over making a move.
United are still monitoring Nathan’s situation ahead of the summer transfer window, while the Gunners have scouted the Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender regularly this term.
But The Sun say the Blues are showing ‘strong interest’ in Collins and are currently at the head of the queue to secure his signature.
It is stated a number of Premier League clubs believe Nathan has the physical attributes to compete at the highest level in spite of his inexperience.
Collins was named in Mick McCarthy’s Ireland roster the previous summer but is yet to feature for his country.
The west Londoners look set for a spending spree this summer if the coronavirus pandemic settles down and Frank Sinclair says his former club need to bolster in two areas.
‘There are two obvious positions in which Chelsea need to improve their squad – left-back and a striker,’ ex-Chelsea player Sinclair told GentingBet.
‘Both left backs this season, Emerson and [Marcos] Alonso, haven’t really grasped that position and played a lot of games consistently. Lampard will also need to address the centre forward situation at the club.
‘Tammy Abraham has been excellent, but he has really had to carry the baton on his own all season.’