Chelsea are preparing a £7.5m bid to sign Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne at the end of the season, according to the Mirror. The 21-year-old moved to St Mary's from Championship side Crystal Palace last summer.

Nathaniel Clyne (L)

The right-back was impressive for the Saints when they hosted Chelsea at St Mary's earlier this season, managing an assist as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Clyne has a goal and three assists to his name from 26 starts in his debut season in the English top flight.

The defender's recent performances earned him a place in England U21 squad and he was watched by Blues scouts during the Young Lions' 3-0 win over Romania on Thursday 21 March. Chelsea are understood to be keen to bring Clyne to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

The ex-Palace star had earlier revealed that he snubbed Newcastle United in order to join Southampton. In addition to this, Clyne also went on to claim he rejected an offer to join Premier League leaders Manchester United, as he doubted he would get regular playing time with the Red Devils.

The Blues currently have Cesar Azpilicueta in the right-back position and the addition of Clyne will give them more options.

Cole: Lampard is a Machine

Frank Lampard

Meanwhile, West Ham United midfielder Joe Cole has labelled Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard a machine, hailing his goal scoring abilities. The England international is in the final year of his contract and the west London club has not yet offered an extension.

Cole, a former Chelsea player, believes that if Lampard leaves Stamford Bridge this summer, many top European clubs will be after his signature.

"To be honest with you, if Frank [Lampard]'s out of contract, the way he's playing, all the top clubs in Europe are going to be queueing up. It's unbelievable if he doesn't get offered a deal really, because he's still one of the top midfielders in Europe. And I don't know how many goals he's scored this year, but he just doesn't stop. He's a machine," Cole said.