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Chelsea linked to Southampton left back

Tom Dulat

Normally we wouldn't be taking the Daily Mail's word on things, but Neil Ashton's been such a ridiculous roll with Chelsea news lately that it would be perverse not to assign him some credibility for the time being. And so when he writes about our transfer targets, we'd do well to take some note.

Steve's already covered the Freda Taison rumour (verdict: meh), but there's another juicy tidbit in Ashton's latest post. Check it out:

Chelsea are looking to the future. Southampton left back Luke Shaw, who has started the last four matches, has long been on the radar of Stamford Bridge technical director Michael Emenalo.

Shaw, 17, insisted this week he will not be leaving St Mary’s, but he is so highly rated by Chelsea that he is lined up to replace Cole in the summer.

Although Ryan Bertrand is the natural successor, Shaw’s development has been so rapid that Emenalo believes the England Under 17 defender will soon be ahead of Bertrand.

Luke Shaw, in case you're not familiar with him, is a 17-year-old left back on the verge of breaking into the Southampton starting lineup. That probably sounds more impressive than it is, since the Saints' defence is not particularly special, but he's still an extremely talented prospect that Southampton will fight tooth and claw to keep.

And yet Chelsea are talking about acquiring him anyway. Interesting. I'd guess that the hope is Southampton get relegated and the Blues can swoop in for the kill, and that means that their table position might have some bearing on Ashley Cole's contract talks.

Ceterum censeo Torrentem delendam esse.

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