Chelsea Football Club has made a surprising decision by unilaterally renewing the contract of Ian Maatsen, a young 21-year-old left-back whose contract was scheduled to end in June. This news has generated a stir in the world of football since Maatsen does not enjoy the confidence of coach Mauricio Pochettino and has barely had minutes in the first team this season.
According to reports from ‘ The Standard ‘, Chelsea opted to silently extend Maatsen’s contract to prevent him from becoming free and to be able to take advantage of the interest from several teams in signing him as a free agent. One of the clubs that had shown particular interest in Maatsen is FC Barcelona, who had been monitoring him closely in recent years as a possible addition to the team.
Barça’s interest in Maatsen became evident when newspaper SPORT reported that the left-back was being monitored as part of the team’s reinforcement plans for next season. Maatsen, despite his lack of opportunities at Chelsea, proved his worth during a loan spell at Burnley last season, where he stood out with his performance.
He had rejected several proposals, hence the Barça interest
The situation is further complicated because Maatsen had already rejected two previous renewal offers from Chelsea, as he did not see a clear future at the London club. It seemed that his departure from the team was imminent, with West Ham and Burnley themselves interested in signing him last summer. However, negotiations did not come to fruition, and Maatsen was forced to remain linked to Chelsea.
Chelsea’s renewal of Maatsen, apparently motivated by interest from Barcelona, raises questions about the player’s future at the English club. Furthermore, Barcelona continues its search for full-backs, which could have implications for its transfer strategy for next season, especially in the case of Marcos Alonso.