Chelsea have joined the race to sign highly-rated Gillingham goalkeeper Joe Walsh during the January transfer window, a source close to the player has confirmed to Football League World Chief Editor Sam Rourke.
The 17-year-old has been limited to appearances in the EFL Trophy for Steve Evans, but sources close to the player have exclusively told Football League World that Frank Lampard and co. have entered the race to sign the rapidly rising star.
He has featured in the Gills matchday squad for all but two of their League One clashes so far this season and towards the end of 2019, Evans confirmed that both Everton and Celtic had shown an interest in buying Walsh.
QUIZ: Can you name every Gillingham player’s shirt number?
In his three appearances in the EFL Trophy this season, Walsh conceded seven goals, keeping one clean sheet, as the club were dumped out after the group stages.
Gillingham have an impressive recent history when it comes to goalkeepers. Current shot-stopper Jack Bonham has kept eight clean sheets so far this season, conceding just 24 goals, whilst Ispwich Town’s Thomas Holy also made his name during two seasons at Priestfield.
With their transfer ban now lifted, Chelsea are free to bring in new faces this month although it is unlikely that Walsh would be featuring in Frank Lampard’s first-team immediately.
Kepa and Willy Caballero would both stand between him and the Stamford Bridge pitch with the likes of Jamie Cumming, Nicolas Tie and Karlo Ziger likely to limit his playing time in the under-23s as well.
Gillingham are also at risk of losing experienced winger Mark Marshall with Blackpool and Wycombe both interested, according to Football Insider.