Chelsea are reportedly fighting a battle to keep hold of teenage prospect Xavier Simons who is a target for several Premier League clubs.
According to GOAL’s Nizaar Kinsella, Chelsea youngster Xavier Simons is being pursued by a host of Premier League clubs such as Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Norwich City and Burnley.
The 19-year-old midfielder started at the academy of Brentford before making the switch to Chelsea’s youth setup in 2016. Simons is widely regarded as one of the most talented young prospects to have come through in recent years at Cobham. He has made over 40 appearances for the club’s Under-18 and Under-23 teams combined.
Simons made his first-team debut for Chelsea this season when he started in the Carabao Cup clash against Brentford in December. He has not played for Thomas Tuchel’s side since, but the report states that the German tactician has spent several individual training sessions to help the young midfielder develop.
A versatile operator, Simons is a defensive midfielder by trade but has been used on the right side of the midfield, at right-back and centre-back on occasions. Rated highly by those within the club, Chelsea are keen to hold on to the youth prospect as his contract will expire at the end of the season.
But with no progress being made on a renewal, Chelsea’s Premier League rivals are lining up to make a swoop. The Blues saw the likes of Tino Livramento, Marc Guehi, and Lewis Bate leave last summer and could see a similar thing happen with Simons as Southampton, Norwich City, Burnley, and Brighton & Hove Albion lurk to sign him up.
Chelsea would still be owed a compensation fee set by a tribunal if any Premier League clubs were to sign him in the summer once his contract ran out. However, the West Londoners are hoping to convince Simons to sign a new contract and continue his development with the club.
While Simons would be open to prolonging his stay at Chelsea, he is seeking assurances that he can go out on loan next season to get some vital first-team experience. Whether the Blues can strike an agreement with the former England Under-17 international remains to be seen.
Apart from Simons, Chelsea could also face the risk of losing another exciting prospect in Harvey Vale. The 18-year-old will enter the final year of his contract in the summer, and the Blues, having knocked down interest from Championship clubs in January, will be hoping to tie him down to a new deal as well.