While Arsenal and Chelsea are focused on landing big-name, big-money signings this summer it seems as though they've also got one eye on the future with the Daily Mail reporting that both Premier League giants have their eye on West Ham starlet Reece Oxford.
The 15-year-old is said to be one of the Hammers' brightest prospects, and has been compared to former West Ham graduate Rio Ferdinand thanks to his 6 foot 3 frame.
Oxford in action for West Ham U18's:
He earned a call-up for England's U16 squad recently, and is said to have already trained with the West Ham first team ahead of a potential spot with the seniors next season.
However West Ham's plans could soon go up in flames if the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal have their way. The Daily Mail say that the Hammers are fighting a losing battle to keep the talented youngster from the clutches of two of the wealthiest teams in the Premier League.
Arsenal were liked with Oxford, who has also played for West Ham's U18's, earlier this month, but according to the Mail, Chelsea have now thrown their hat in the ring for his services and could well steal him from the north London club's clutches.
Chelsea in particular have made a habit of signing up a host of young players from across Europe with a long-term plan of integrating them into their first team after initially sending them out on loan. That's the approach the Blues took with Thibaut Courtois, while they currently have a plethora of players with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem who could well make the step up next term.
Arsenal have a history of luring the best young players to north London in order to develop them with the view to making them first-team stars, but given Oxford's age it is unlikely he would be near either first team in the foreseeable future.
The summer transfer window is expected to be a busy one for both Arsenal and Chelsea, with both clubs expected to spend big.
The Blues have already snapped up Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona and expect to conclude a deal for Diego Costa shortly. Arsenal meanwhile are in desperate need of a striker, and today are being linked with Mario Balotelli.
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