Chelsea are reportedly set to battle it out with Premier League outfit Southampton for the signing of 17-year-old defender Sean Roughan from Lincoln City.

According to a report from Hampshire Live, Chelsea are interested in signing left-back Sean Roughan from lower division outfit Lincoln City but face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Southampton in pursuit of the teenage prodigy.

Roughan started out his footballing journey at Phoenix FC in his homeland, Ireland, before making the switch to Lincoln City in the summer of 2019. Having initially linked up with the Imps’ Under-18 outfit, the 17-year-old left-back broke into the first-team in the 2020/21 campaign, making his debut in September 2020.

Since then, Roughan has accumulated 11 appearances for Lincoln City and his rapid rise at the League One club, coupled with his immense potential, has led to serious interest from Premier League clubs Southampton and Chelsea, ahead of the summer transfer window.

Indeed, Southampton are keen on signing the 17-year-old given that they do not have a senior left-back heading into the new season. Ryan Bertrand has his contract expiring in a matter of days, and has attracted interest from the likes Arsenal and Manchester City, although he is said to be close to signing for Leicester City, leaving manager Ralph Hasenhuttl in pursuit of a new left-sided full-back.

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To that end, Southampton are interested in Roughan and took the teenager on trial last month, with the Irishman featuring once each for the club’s Under-18 team as well as the reserves. The teenager seemingly has made quite the impression during his short trial with the Saints, so much so that Chelsea have also now shown a strong interest in him.

The report states that Chelsea, too, have approached Lincoln City with an invitation to take Roughan to London for a week-long trial. The Blues are also in the market for a new left-back with the futures of both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri far from certain.

And, it seems like the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League finalists are targeting a full-back of a young age, with an eye on the future, as has been seen  by their pursuit of Nuno Mendes of Sporting CP and now, Roughan.

The 17-year-old received his maiden call-up for the Republic of Ireland national team despite his age and lack of experience, giving an indication of the potential he possesses. And, it now remains to be seen who among Chelsea and Southampton come out on top in the battle to secure the signing of Roughan this summer.

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