Barcelona to rival Man City for Chelsea star Pochettino is desperate to keep after contract talks stall

Harry Watkinson
Chelsea duo Ian Maatsen and Enzo Fernandez
Chelsea duo Ian Maatsen and Enzo Fernandez

Barcelona are reportedly keeping a close eye on the situation of Chelsea left-back Ian Maatsen ahead of a potential move for him at the end of the season.

The 21-year-old enjoyed an impressive loan spell with Burnley last season and has returned to the Blues with only one year left on his contract. 

Maatsen was a key player in helping Burnley to win the Championship title and secure promotion back into the Premier League.

Vincent Kompany was very keen on signing the youngster permanently. The Clarets saw a £15m bid turned down for Maatsen in June. They later agreed a deal with Chelsea to re-sign Maatsen on loan, with an obligation to buy him for £31.5m next summer.

Maatsen turned down the move to Burnley, however, in favour of fighting for his place at Stamford Bridge. He has put in some good performances this season, too, making eight appearances in all competitions so far.

Mauricio Pochettino is now keen to tie the Dutchman down to a new contract. With negotiations currently at a standstill, however, Chelsea could be forced to sell him in January to avoid losing him on a free transfer next summer.

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As previously reported by Football365, Manchester City have registered an interest in Maatsen, with Pep Guardiola keen on bringing in a new left-back.

It now seems that Barcelona could rival the Cityzens for the talented defender. Foreign clubs will be able to speak to Maatsen in January about the possibility of a move on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

According to Spanish outlet SPORT, Barcelona are ‘attentive to the situation,’ with Maatsen seen as a possible long-term replacement for ex-Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso.

The report claims that the LaLiga champions want to bring in competition for Alejandro Balde and the Chelsea star is viewed as the ideal signing due to the fact that he could be available on a free transfer.

Barcelona have reportedly been ‘scouting Maatsen on a regular basis’ over the last couple of years, with his performances at Burnley said to have been monitored.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Catalans do open talks with Maatsen in January. They will be hoping that Man City don’t make a move for him this winter, as previous reports have suggested.

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