Arsenal have entered the race to sign Chelsea contract rebel Ola Aina along with Borussia Dortmund and Everton. The young defender is keen to depart Stamford Bridge following a lack of first-team opportunities.
According to the Mirror, the young right-back, who has been ever present in the Chelsea youth setup, has rejected the offer of a new contract from the west London club and is set to move on once his current deal expires in the summer. Aina is highly rated by the coaches at Cobham and it will come as a big blow if the youngster joins one of their direct rivals.
The 19-year-old defender was a key member of Chelsea's FA Youth Cup and Uefa U19 Youth League winning teams, and his performances earned him a call-up to the first-team under Jose Mourinho for both their post and pre-season tours in the summer. Aina, who is primarily a right-back, can also play at centre-back and was being tipped for a bright future with the Premier League champions.
The England U21 international, who is also eligible to play for Nigeria, has been demoted to the U21's from the first-team this season following his move to reject a new deal, and this, the report claims has moved him closer to the exit door with a number of clubs interested in securing his services.
The north London club are said to be big admirers of the young full-back and are said to be keen on signing him as a backup to Hector Bellerin next season. Mathieu Debuchy is on the verge of leaving the Gunners during the ongoing January transfer window and Arsene Wenger is keen to secure a replacement for the Frenchman. The report claims that Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson, who is currently on loan at West Ham United, is expected to be allowed to leave as well, despite the club handing him a new deal last summer.
Arsenal, however, could face competition from Premier League rivals Everton and European sides Bayer Leverkusen, Dortmund and Napoli for the youngster's signature.