Mauricio Pochettino has told Chelsea youngster Ian Maatsen that he wants to keep him at the club after impressing during pre-season.
Maatsen quickly became a fan-favourite while out on loan at Burnley last season. The 21-year-old played a key role in Vincent Kompany’s side reaching the Premier League.
Burnley even had a £15m bid rejected for the defender back in June as they tried to lure him back to Turf Moor.
Earlier in the window, Chelsea had set a £20m asking price on the 21-year-olds head, but they seemed to have had a change of heart since then.
According to the Evening Standard, Pochettino has now told Maatsen that he wants to keep him at the club as contract renewal talks have begun.
Maatsen’s current deal at Stamford Bridge expires next summer and so it makes sense Chelsea are looking to tie him down to a new long-term deal.
A potential loan deal for the versatile defender hasn’t been ruled out, although it seems as if Pochettino intends on using him for the upcoming season.
The report states that Pochettino plans to use Maatsen as a ‘winger or No10’ as the Argentine boss is seemingly impressed with his attacking prowess.
West Ham, Burnley, Ajax and Lens are all interested in the Chelsea star, but time will tell if they let him out on loan again.
“I hope to come back here and show the fans and the manager what I am capable of,” Maatsen told reporters during pre-season.
“Of course, sometimes it is difficult [not knowing your future] but you try to do your best all the time, stay calm and not stress.
“Just think about football, ask a lot of questions about how to get better, how to improve yourself, ask your teammates and help them as well.
“A lot of competition is good for me as a player and for the others to work hard and stay focused.”
Over the years Chelsea have been guilty of selling their youth prospects below their transfer value, but it seems as if Maatsen is here to stay.
Pochettino has an excellent track record when it comes to developing youngsters and it’s no wonder he sees the value in Maatsen.