Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has closed the door on any departure for Levi Colwill this summer after the defender impressed in their pre-season win over Brighton on Saturday.
The England U21 defender spent last season on loan with the Seagulls and impressed under Roberto de Zerbi, appearing 17 times in the Premier League as he helped Brighton secure European football for the first time in their history.
Now back at Chelsea, the south-coast outfit are keen to take him back to Brighton on a permanent deal, having tabled two bids worth club-record sums and with De Zerbi openly stating his admiration of the player.
Liverpool are thought to be interested in his signature too, with Jurgen Klopp’s side on the hunt for a left-footed centre-back as the long term successor to Virgil van Dijk, and having earmarked the Englishman as one of the best young options around.
However, neither side are likely to land their man, despite Colwill having just two years left to run on his current deal at Stamford Bridge.
After starring in a pre-season win over former side Brighton, Chelsea boss Pochettino revealed that he is very much planning for the defender to be in his side next season.
Quizzed on comments made by Brighton boss De Zerbi, Pochettino explained: “We don’t need to say anything or make a statement” [about Colwill].
“He is our player and he is going to continue with us. He is a good player and did better than I expect. I am so happy with him and he can become one of the greatest centre-backs in England.”
With Benoit Badiashile out injured for the beginning of the new campaign, Colwill is likely to be thrust straight into action on the opening day of the season, where he will face Liverpool with the opportunity to show them just what they have missed out on.