Chelsea in driving seat to snap up in-demand Ireland U21 defender

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.’

Premier League rivals step up interest in veteran Chelsea winger

Arsenal are reportedly set to offer Chelsea star, Willian, a two-year contract, with their city rivals Tottenham also keen on signing the winger for free.

Willian’s current deal with the Blues is set to expire at the end of the campaign and the Brazilian is yet to agree to terms to stay at the club.

The club do want him to stay put but, according to a new report from TeamTalk, they will face a fierce battle from both Arsenal and Spurs.

The Gunners are understood to be preparing a two-year deal for the star but Spurs are thought to be leading the race for his services because of the player’s existing relationship with head coach Jose Mourinho.

Willian played under Mourinho at the Blues for two-and-a-half seasons, lifting a PL and League Cup trophy.

Arsenal’s two-year proposal is unlikely to be accepted by the star, who has been adamant that he wanted a three-year extension from the Blues.

Offering an update on the contract situation earlier this month, Willian said: “Everyone knows that my contract ends now in a few months.

“So the renewal is really a difficult thing to happen. I think it will be very difficult for me to renew because Chelsea offered me two years, I asked for three and it ended there, we didn’t talk anymore, we didn’t negotiate anymore.

“Three years… Chelsea said it would be impossible, so for now there’s this difficulty, but nothing is impossible. We don’t know what can happen, suddenly we could make a deal and get it right.

“But what I can say today is that my contract is going over and I will be free to negotiate with any team.”

He is not the only Chelsea player whose contract is set to expire this summer, with goalkeeper Willy Caballero, attacker Pedro and striker Olivier Giroud also out of contract at the end of June.

Chelsea pursuing Robin Gosens as Atalanta ask for €35-€40m

According to Italian media outlet Calciomercato, Robin Gosens has appeared as an option for Chelsea as manager Frank Lampard scours the market for a left-back.

The Atalanta star is also on the radar of Lyon and Inter Milan as well as Serie A giants Inter Milan and Juventus.

In fact, the report claims that Lyon had submitted a €25 million bid for Gosens in January, only to be told by the Italians to come back with a higher bid.

The Serie A side reportedly values him between €35 million to €40 million. Robin Gosens has been one of the best bargains for his side over the recent years.

Arriving for less than €1m, Robin has gone on to become a regular for the Bergamo-based outfit. But, the transition to left midfield has brought the best of his attacking traits.

Robin has played most of the 2019-20 Serie A campaign up ahead in wide midfield, with a return of seven goals and five assists in 22 league appearances.

Calciomercato state that the Blues might be able to get the asking price down to €30m upon negotiation.

For a 25-year-old star who has shown he has a talent on both ends of the pitch in different campaigns at Atalanta, €30 million would be more than a just price.

There are other competitors for Robin, who might be interested in Inter Milan and Juventus if he wants to stay in Serie A.

But, to be part of the illustrious PL might enable him to challenge for a spot in the German National Team, which could entice him towards a transfer to England.