Islam Feruz
Chelsea are determined to keep young striker Islam Feruz amid interest from several Premier League rivals. [NextGen]

Chelsea are determined to keep hold of highly rated striker Islam Feruz and have opened contract talks with the youngster as they bid to stave off interest from a number of Premier League rivals.

The 17 year old is regarded as one of the best prospects in the Chelsea academy after a hugely successful year which saw him make headlines playing for various youth teams.

Feruz helped Chelsea reach the NextGen final where they were beaten by Aston Villa, whilst also playing a major role in helping the west London club reach the FA Youth Cup final which they also lost, this time to Norwich.

The Scotland youth international also played on a number of occasions for the Under-21 side and Sky Sports believes that Chelsea are keen to tie him down to a new long-term deal amid interest from several English clubs.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are all said to be closely monitoring the strikers situation at Stamford Bridge, while West Ham and Fulham have also been credited with having an interest in Feruz.

Both Liverpool and Arsenal fielded sides in the NextGen competition last season and will be well aware of the influence Feruz had on the Chelsea side as he finished the competition as the joint top scorer on seven goals.

Liverpool showed last season that they are willing to give youth a chance in the first team, while Arsenal have traditionally promoted young players under manager Arsene Wenger.

With Chelsea failing to give many opportunities to their academy stars in recent season it is perhaps little shock that rivals are circling, but the club are hoping that Feruz will sign a new deal and are reportedly prepared to hand him first team opportunities during pre-season.

Should Feruz sign a new deal then there are a host of clubs hoping to secure his services on-loan; with Brighton, Bolton, Blackpool, QPR and Wigan all said to be keen to sign the striker on a short term contract.