By Harry Sykes

Chelsea have offered youth-team defender Fankaty Dabo a new long-term contract, according to a report.

The Mirror claim that the west London club “want to tie down” former England Under-20 international Dabo and then loan him out in the January transfer window.

It is said that one possible destination is Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, where Chelsea have loaned a number of their emerging stars in recent years.

Dabo, 21, who is predominantly a right-back, has wide experience for Chelsea’s youth teams but has not yet been selected for the senior side.

He has made 60 appearances for the club’s Under-23s and is a regular for their development side in Premier League 2.

Chelsea, who are second in the Premier League ahead of their trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday, have won their last five matches matches in the competition.

Football Insider verdict:

Chelsea’s policy of tying the cream of their young talent to long contracts and then sending them out on loan is well established. The Londoners’ tie-up with Eredivisie club Vitesse was the subject of a Dutch FA probe last year but the two clubs were cleared of any wrongdoing and it was found that Chelsea do not heavily influence policy at the Dutch outfit. Nevertheless, the cosy relationship is undeniable, with Nemanja Matic among those over the last six years who have made the well-trodden path from west London to Holland. Few of the loanees ever make the Chelsea first team but, as a model for providing game time for the youngsters and enabling them exposure before being sold at a profit, it is a policy that has frequently paid dividends. If Dabo joins Vitesse, it could be good for his development, and even better for Chelsea’s bank account.

In other Chelsea news, West Ham are favourites to sign this player in January after he slipped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.