Report: Chelsea could lose in-demand midfield talent amid reluctance to sign new contract
Four Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, are interested in young midfielder Lewis Bate who has “delayed” signing a contract extension with Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail.
The 18-year-old is clearly highly rated by Chelsea, given his frequent inclusion in first-team training under both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel last season.
He has yet to make his first-team debut, but made the squad a few times already, including as an unused sub in the FA Cup tie win over Barnsley in February.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the Daily Mail claims that Bate is one of several their youngsters who have delayed signing contract extensions to stay at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea might eventually be in a position where they will have to sell the midfielder this summer.
Bate has only one year left in his Chelsea contract and is in a similar situation to Marc Guehi who eventually decided to make a permanent move to Crystal Palace.
Bate’s reluctance to extend his Chelsea stay has reportedly alerted four Premier League clubs; Liverpool, Leeds United, West Ham United and Southampton.
Given the midfield competition at Chelsea, it is easy to see why Bate is reportedly hesitant to commit to a new contract with the club.
Aside from the three experienced midfielders; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea still have plenty of young midfield talents such as Billy Gilmour (on loan at Norwich City), Conor Gallagher, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Not to mention, he would also have to compete with fellow academy stars; Henry Lawrence and Tino Anjorin.
Even if he decided to stay, Bate would likely be sent out on loan and facing similar uncertainty over his future like many other Blues loanees.