Exclusive: Man City, West Ham expected to lead race for Chelsea star in January

Chelsea wing-back Ian Maatsen, Man City and West Ham

Chelsea player Ian Maatsen is a target for Man City and West Ham

Manchester City and West Ham United are expected to lead the race to keep Ian Maatsen in the Premier League if his Chelsea future is still in doubt at the end of this year, sources have told TEAMtalk.

The attack-minded left-back was linked with Barcelona over the weekend and is one of the Blues’ only first-team figures with his contract starting to wind down, along with 39-year-old Thiago Silva.

Maatsen continues to impress the Chelsea fanbase when given chances in the team – but those opportunities are hard to come by, and will become even tougher as star names start to return to action.

Maatsen, 21, will be out of contract come the end of the season but even attempts at an extension feel in line with maintaining his value at this stage rather than any genuine intent for him in the first team. The prospect of a new contract is still there, yet a pathway to becoming part of the starting eleven is believed to be very important to the Dutchman.

Maatsen’s two starts have come in the Carabao Cup this season. While he has made six Premier League appearances, all of them have come from the bench and have amounted to just 83 minutes, as per transfermarkt.

Chelsea showed their hand by accepting a a £31.5million bid from Burnley for Maatsen in September and while the player was not particularly impressed by that moment, and has given himself a fighting chance of staying within the Chelsea set-up, there is a feeling that he could be made available for a January move if no new terms are agreed soon.

TEAMtalk understands Maatsen is a surprise name on City’s watchlist as we head towards the new year, as his attributes and profile are of real intrigue to their recruitment staff. City’s current set-up does not suggest there is space for a player of his type at left-back but sources are indicating there is intent around finding new options for that spot.

West Ham also had a look at him in the summer and are expected to now revisit that interest amid doubts surrounding their own left-back situation in the long run.

Maatsen has been tracked by Barcelona for two years – as they even had an eye on him when he was on loan at Coventry City. They continue to be linked with him ahead of 2024, with the latest reports from Spain even suggesting the potential of signing him for free at the end of the season.

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Chelsea working to get deal done

Although it looked as though Maatsen’s time at Stamford Bridge may have been up earlier this summer, particularly after a successful season on loan at now promoted Burnley, his time in London may not have come to an end just yet.

The Blues have reportedly been working on a new deal to avoid losing the youngster for nothing at the end of the current campaign. But they have failed to make any sort of progress on fresh terms despite talks with Maatsen’s team.

If the club can’t reach an agreement with the defender then they may have no other choice but to sell him in January when he would otherwise be free to agree a pre-contract with a foreign club and leave for nothing in the summer. Guardiola and David Moyes will likely be watching Maatsen’s situation in West London very closely.

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