Chelsea have rejected an opening bid of £30 million for defender Levi Colwill, according to reports.
The 20-year-old impressed out on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion last season and has attracted suitors over a permanent switch, with Brighton, Manchester City and Liverpool all expressing interest in the defender.
Colwill will now return to Chelsea this summer and work under Mauricio Pochettino whose appointment was confirmed earlier this week.
Chelsea are adamant they won’t sell Colwill and plan to offer him a new contract as they eye a first-team role for him next season.
Now, according to Sky Sports, Brighton have tried their luck with a first offer ahead of the summer window opening next month.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side have lodged a £30 million offer but it has been rejected outright by the Blues, who have already made the decision to let Joao Felix, Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic leave.
Colwill was asked about his future earlier this month, responding to The Athletic: “Brighton have done a lot for me. They put their trust in me when others didn’t and I’m a person that loves to repay that. We’ll see.
“I don’t know what is going to happen (at Chelsea). I’m still here until the end of the season. I just focus on that, then I’ve got the Euros (the Under-21 European Championship with England) in the summer.
“After that, we’ll see what happens and go from there.”
De Zerbi also publicly expressed his desire to keep the central defender, adding: “I hope he can play with us also next year but it’s his decision and decision of Chelsea. I don’t know. We have to be ready to change some players but of course Levi is a top player for us.”
As reported by Tom Roddy, Pochettino is excited about the prospect of working with Colwill next season.