Levi Colwill will make it clear to Chelsea that he does not want to stay unless he is guaranteed playing time by Mauricio Pochettino, according to reports.
The 20-year-old defender has spent the past campaign on loan at Brighton where he was impressive, notably shutting out Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard with a superb man-marking job in last month’s 3-0 win.
Colwill is said to be keen to continue working under Roberto De Zerbi but Brighton saw a £30m offer rejected last month.
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They are ready to go even higher and are now readying a club-record £40m bid, though Chelsea are expected to turn down that proposal too.
Colwill is highly rated by the London club and features in their long-term plans, while Pochettino is happy to welcome him into the team.
But Chelsea have a couple of centre-backs at present, having spent big money on Wesley Fofana and Koulibaly last summer before signing Benoit Badiashile from Monaco in January.
Thiago Silva – Chelsea’s Player of the Season – continues to be a mainstay in the Blues team, meaning there could be limited chances for Colwill next campaign.
But, according to talkSPORT, Colwill is not happy to settle for being a backup and will push to leave unless he is guaranteed regular playing time at Stamford Bridge.
The defender knows how key consistent game time is in his development, while he is believed to be against going out on loan again and would prefer a transfer if Chelsea cannot assure him the role he is demanding.
But with Silva turning 39 this summer window and Koulibaly free to leave if a good offer comes in, the Blues are not ready to lose Colwill.
Badiashile has also picked up an injury that Frank Lampard described as ‘complicated’ and there are reports the Frenchman will not return in time for the start of pre-season.
That could grant Colwill the chance to nail down the left centre-back position and impress Mauricio Pochettino in pre-season.