Premier League • England

Chelsea transfers: Prem rival to launch huge club-record bid for player who’s yet to debut; Pochettino decision already made

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea are bracing themselves for a club-record offer from Brighton for a player who’s never played for the club, and two sources have confirmed how Mauricio Pochettino will respond.

A mass exodus is expected at Stamford Bridge this summer as Chelsea seek to trim their squad down to size. Conforming to Financial Fair Play must also be considered, meaning the profile of player to depart could be higher than you might expect.

Indeed, the likes of Edouard Mendy, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount could all depart. All four are currently or have previously been regular starters and pivotal players for Chelsea during their time in the capital.

However, according to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are poised to receive a sizeable offer for a player who’s yet to make his mark in west London.

Sky Sports recently reported Chelsea laughed off a £30m bid from Brighton for centre-half, Levi Colwill. Not to be deterred, Romano now states the Seagulls are preparing a second bid worth £40m.

Brighton’s club-record signing will become the £30m they’ll pay to sign Joao Pedro from Watford. As such, £40m for Colwill would represent an extra £10m above what they’ve committed to any transfer in their history.

Colwill, 20, spent the current campaign on loan with Brighton where he made a huge impression on manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Speaking about the prospect of signing Colwill for a second time, the Italian recently said: “I hope he can play with us also next year, but it’s his decision and decision of Chelsea.”

Romano confirmed Brighton’s increased bid of £40m will be “submitted soon”. However, just like the first offer, this one is set to be rejected too.

Pochettino has big plans for Colwill

Romano added Colwill is “part of [the] long term project” at Chelsea despite the fact he’s yet to make his senior debut for the club. The transfer guru concluded Chelsea have “no intention to sell him”.

That tallies with what the Evening Standard reported after Chelsea rejected Brighton’s £30m bid last week. What’s more, the ES suggested Colwill may actually become Chelsea’s new starting left centre-back next term.

That honour has generally been bestowed upon Kalidou Koulibaly this season, though the former Napoli defender struggled to justify his £33m price tag.

As such, the Standard reported Chelsea will try to offload the Senegalese despite the difficulties that will bring. Indeed, he’ll turn 32 years old in a fortnight and his reported £200,000-a-week salary severely restricts where he could move without taking a monster pay-cut.

The report concluded Colwill is very much in Pochettino’s plans and Brighton’s incoming £40m bid will therefore meet the same fate as their previous offer.

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