Academy graduate Levi Colwill is considering his future at Chelsea amid concerns over game time, 90min understands, with the club setting about reinforcing their depleted backline during the summer transfer window.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a mightily impressive season on loan at Huddersfield Town in the Championship last season, starring on the left side of central defence and helping them to the playoff final.
As a result, he had been slated for a run at first-team football next season, as reported by 90min, with a pathway seemingly clear following the departures of both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the end of their respective contracts.
However, Chelsea have not rested on their laurels and are closing in on two big-money central defensive signings in Kalidou Koulibaly and Nathan Ake, while they are in talks over a possible third in Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe.
The London club also retain an interest in long-term target Jules Kounde of Sevilla, with head coach Thomas Tuchel keen to add three new centre-backs to his squad.
Consequently, Colwill has been discouraged of his first-team chances at Stamford Bridge next season. Sources have told 90min he will seek an exit either on loan or permanently if a trio of competitors for his position do arrive, and Chelsea will not stand in his way.
A host of Premier League clubs are interested in a transfer, including Everton, Leicester, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton – where Colwill was born.
Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey, Harry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Chelsea’s interest in Antony and Serge Gnabry, why Man Utd have still not signed Frenkie de Jong, Man City’s pursuit of Marc Cucurella and more. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!
The Saints are particularly keen and want the England Under-21 international to replace Jan Bednarek, who is being courted by the Foxes and Italian giants Milan and Napoli.
Napoli defender Koulibaly is set to undergo a medical with Chelsea ahead of a €40m (£34m) move and joining up with the rest of the squad in Los Angeles for their pre-season tour of the US, while a £45m agreement is also close with Man City for Ake.
For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter.