Blues open talks with Southampton over purchase of 17-year-old left back.
Chelsea look like beating London rivals Arsenal to the signature of highly-rated young Southampton defender Luke Shaw, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The West Londoners have been keeping close tabs on the 17-year-old full back since last summer, when they had an initial bid for the player rejected by the South Coast club, before the Blues returned again with an improved bid for the left back in the recent January transfer window, again only to be rebuffed by the Saints.
However, it is now understood that talks between the two clubs have started, with a view to Shaw signing on at Stamford Bridge at the end of this season, although it is also believed that the defender could then be loaned straight back to Southampton for the whole of that campaign.
That is because Chelsea recently agreed a one-year contract extension with current left-back Ashley Cole that will see the England international remain at the Bridge until the summer of 2014, when it is expected that Shaw will replace the veteran defender as their first-choice left back.
And, this latest development will come as a major blow to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has also been tracking Shaw for some time now.