‘£15m bid prepared’ – West Ham lead the race for Chelsea rising star who lit up pre-season

Chelsea has begun contract negotiations with young star Ian Maatsen, who impressed during the pre-season. However, reports suggest that West Ham and Burnley are closely monitoring the situation, ready to swoop if the player’s key demands aren’t met, relays the TeamTalk.

Maatsen, a 21-year-old Dutch left-back, has been a part of Chelsea since 2018 but has only made a single senior appearance for the club. His loan spell at Championship side Burnley last season saw him shine brightly, earning him a spot in the Championship’s Team of the Season.

During pre-season under the watchful eye of manager Mauricio Pochettino, Maatsen has showcased his versatility, excelling in more advanced positions due to the return of Ben Chilwell. The Evening Standard reports that if Chelsea retains him for the upcoming season, he may be utilized as a left winger or a No. 10.

With just one year left on his current deal, Chelsea is eager to secure Maatsen’s future with a new contract. Talks for a contract extension are already underway. However, the young talent reportedly wants assurances about his development plan at the club before committing to a new deal. This includes clarity on potential loan moves, playing position, and opportunities for regular game time.

Should Chelsea fail to meet Maatsen’s demands, West Ham and Burnley are ready to take advantage of the situation. Burnley had already seen a £15 million bid rejected earlier in the summer, with Chelsea holding out for £20 million at the time. However, the situation has changed as Maatsen impressed in pre-season, potentially raising his value.

West Ham, labeled as the frontrunners, are poised to make a move if Maatsen decides not to sign a new contract with Chelsea. The Hammers have financial resources following Declan Rice’s transfer to Arsenal for a whopping £105 million fee.

The ball is now in Chelsea’s court to secure Maatsen’s future and fend off potential interest from other clubs. Time is of the essence, and the Blues will need to strike the right deal to keep hold of the rising star or risk losing a valuable asset in the coming months.