Arsenal are among the clubs interested in the services of Stoke City midfielder Nathan Collins, who reportedly has a £15 million price tag.

According to an exclusive report by TEAMtalk, Arsenal have expressed their desire to sign Nathan Collins in this ongoing January transfer window. The Gunners are joined by a host of Premier League clubs including Burnley in the pursuit of the Stoke City defender, who has impressed the onlookers with his performances in the Championship this term.

The Clarets have even come up with a £5 million bid for Collins. But, it appears Stoke City are adamant in keeping hold of their key defender and are not willing to listen to offers below their starting price of £15 million as they believe the player could play an important role helping them gain promotion to the Premier League in the future.

The Potters have improved a lot from last season and are currently ninth in the league table, just five points adrift of the promotion playoff places. Although it would be a surprise to see them finish ahead of teams like Brentford, Bournemouth or Middlesbrough, Collins has certainly made his mark in the league.

A product of the Stoke City academy, the centre-back has already notched up 19 appearances in the Championship, becoming a key outlet in the club’s number six position. His ability to read the game, combined with his defensive discipline and commitment have been quite useful for Michael O’Neill’s men this term, and his progress has alerted Arsenal.

Arsenal’s interest in the 19-year-old is barely a surprise. The Gunners do not necessarily lack central defensive options at their disposal, but are expecting a potential mass exodus. Sokratis has already left the hut to join Olympiacos while Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a move away from the Emirates as well.

In addition, the club is unlikely to continue with David Luiz, whose contract expires at the end of the season. The Brazilian could potentially be joined by Calum Chambers – another fringe player for Arsenal – through to the exit door in the summer. Collins could, thus, provide some necessary competition for the likes of Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Irishman could also become a part of a growing pool of young players who have been carrying Arsenal’s hopes and exceptions over the past 12 months. However, a prolonged stay at the Bet365 Stadium might be a better option for the youngster at the moment as he does indeed need more consistent game-time in order to further improve as a player.

It won’t be surprising to see Collins’s current asking fee of £15 million increasing significantly in the summer transfer window and it will be interesting to see whether or not Arsenal persist with their desire to sign the Stoke City star.

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