Shaw to reject Chelsea interest in favour of Southampton stay

Luke Shaw will ignore interest from Chelsea to remain at Southampton and sign his first professional contract with the club this summer, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Shaw, 17, impressed in his debut season in the Premier League as first Nigel Adkins and then Mauricio Pochettino guided the Saints to mid-table safety upon their return to the top flight after years spent in the second and third tiers.

Chelsea had identified Shaw as a possible long-term replacement for England regular Ashley Cole but Shaw is understood to have told Southampton that he wants to stay on the south coast, believing it to be the best place to continue his development as a player. The defender’s vow has led to the Saints growing confidence that Shaw will sign a five-year contract with the club when he turns 18, on July 12.

Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese had said the club would only consider offers for Shaw if he confirmed he wanted to leave, although the newspaper claims Chelsea are likely to try again for Shaw next summer, when Cole is out of contract. But Southampton are under no financial pressure to sell.

In recent years the likes of Wayne Bridge, Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have left Southampton while still young, with Bridge moving to Chelsea, Bale to Tottenham Hotspur and Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain heading to Arsenal.

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