Stoke City are seemingly in a battle to keep star teenager Nathan Collins with Premier League duo Arsenal and Burnley keen on the Irishman going into the final week of the January transfer window, according to The Sun.
The Gunners are tracking the 19-year-old but it seems Burnley may have the best chance of sealing a deal, with Alan Nixon saying that the Clarets see him as a long-term James Tarkowski successor.
Whilst Arsenal don’t look like they’re really in the market for incomings this month, Burnley have fresh investment courtesy of new owners ALK Capital, and they look ready to back Sean Dyche following a superb 1-0 league victory over Liverpool.
With a lack of depth at centre-back apparent and interest in Tarkowski seemingly increasing every transfer window, Collins is a player that is of high interest at Turf Moor.
The 19-year-old has turned into a regular for Stoke under Michael O’Neill, playing at both centre-back and right-back with 24 appearances to his name this season (transfermarkt) and along with giant Australia international Harry Souttar, it looks like the Potters have the makings of a solid long-term partnership.
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That’s if they can hold on to Collins though, as Premier League interest could turn his head, especially from a big club like Arsenal, though Burnley’s transfer interest may be more appealing as it may offer him a better chance of breaking into the starting XI.
Will a bid come for Collins in the final week of the window? It wouldn’t be a surprise if it does.
There’s not really been much money thrown around by Premier League teams this month, but Burnley have room to strengthen and they don’t exactly have strength in numbers.
In these uncertain financial times Stoke may need to consider an offer if it reaches the high seven-figures, and if it stretches to over £10 million then it will be really hard to refuse.
You feel O’Neill will be praying that it is just speculation and no official offers come in.