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Manchester City expected to lead race for Chelsea left-back on one condition



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Premier League champions Manchester City are expected to lead the race for an in-demand Chelsea left-back should he become available, according to a recent report.

The latest development on the transfer scene at the Etihad Stadium concerns the former Burnley loanee Ian Maatsen, who impressed onlookers with his performances under Vincent Kompany in their 100-point Championship season of 2022/23.

Since being retained by Mauricio Pochettino for the ongoing season, and having snubbed interest from Turf Moor over a permanent deal during the recent summer market, Maatsen has registered a total of eight appearances across all competitions for Chelsea.

However, his six appearances in the Premier League have amounted to just 83 minutes of on-field action in total, and his concerning contractual situation at Chelsea means his future with the club is far from certain.

As such, there has been plenty of speculation concerning a possible future move, and Manchester City have become the latest club to be linked with a level of interest in the Netherlands youth international.

That is according to the information of TEAMtalk, who claim that Premier League duo Manchester City and West Ham are expected to ‘lead the race’ to sign Ian Maatsen, if his Stamford Bridge future continues to be in doubt by the end of 2023.

As it stands, the 21-year-old will be out of contract at Chelsea at the end of the ongoing season, with sources indicating to TEAMtalk that there is intent at Manchester City around finding new options for the left-back spot.

With regards to Maatsen, the report claims that the highly-rated versatile defender is on the Premier League champions’ watchlist, with his attributes and profile of ‘real intrigue’ to recruitment staff at the Etihad Stadium.

Elsewhere in Manchester City’s hunt for left-back talent is Argentina youth international and Boca Juniors breakthrough star Valentin Barco – who is reportedly keen on a move to the Etihad Stadium in the coming months.

While some quarters understand that the Champions League winners have reached an agreement with the players on personal terms, there is yet to have been a deal reached between the two clubs over the finances of a transfer.

There is a belief among some around Manchester City that Valentin Barco could be viewed in the same category as Maximo Perrone and Yan Couto; emerging talents in South America who could benefit from loan moves in European football before their respective futures within Pep Guardiola’s squad are fairly assessed.