By Matt Farr
Chelsea are prepared to join the race to sign Tottenham defender Kyle Walker this summer, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that the Premier League champions are prepared to rival Champions League rivals Manchester City for the signature of the 26-year-old, who is likely to cost in the region of £40million.
Walker still has four years left to run on his current contract at the north London club, having signed a new deal back in September, but appears destined for the exit this summer and reports have suggested that a move to City is all but done.
It was reported by the Independent earlier this month that the England international sees his future away from Tottenham, after a row with manager Mauricio Pochettino, and having lost his place in the first-team.
The player himself, meanwhile, has dropped a hint that he is quitting the club, after changing his Twitter profile picture of him in a Tottenham shirt to an image of him representing England.
Tottenham are keen to retain the services of their most prized assets this summer after another near-miss in the Premier League title race, but the club are understood to be loosening their grip on full-back Walker.
Chelsea are the latest Premier League side to emerge as a potential destination for Walker, with Manchester City also showing a strong interest in the player as they seek to strengthen their options at right-back.
Walker currently earns £70,000-per-week at Tottenham, but Chelsea would be in a position to double his wages if he were to consider a move to Stamford Bridge.
The defender has made 39 appearances in all competitions this season, contributing six assists, but has been restricted to a substitute role in three of his last five appearances.
Football Insider verdict
Tottenham and Walker looks a break-up waiting to happen. The defender has enjoyed a fine eight-year spell at the club, where he has spent much of his time as the undisputed first-choice, but Tottenham’s recent preference for Kieran Trippier has seen Walker pushed out. The club will be under no pressure to sell, considering he signed a new long-term deal in September, but the prospect of a £40million windfall could be tempting. Trippier has shown he can handle the first-team responsibilities, while the money could also allow Tottenham to bring in an experienced alternative this summer. If Tottenham were to sacrifice one of their stars this summer, then Walker is the best bet, even though it could mean a move to rivals Chelsea.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Dele Alli has issued a response when asked if he will be at Tottenham in August, but his answer will send shivers through every fan.