Ellis Chapman is the focus of interest from Premier League Southampton, according to Lincolnshire Live.
The young midfielder spent half of the season on loan at Chesterfield, but is allegedly on the radar of the Premier League side, amongst others. It’s also reported that Derby County and Wigan Athletic are keeping tabs on 18-year-old Chapman, who has five league outings to his name.
The interest in our stars doesn’t end there, with Aston Villa and Portsmouth thought to be paying interest in Bruno Andrade. Portsmouth had Andrade on trial six months before he joined City, but chose not to follow up on that interest. They’re embroiled in a play-off semi-final battle with Sunderland at the moment, but need to recover a one goal deficit if they’re to get to Wembley.
We had heard rumours of Aston Villa interest in Andrade too, arguably one of the success stories of the season. The tricky winger reached double-figures for goals and was our leading scorer from open play and chatter was rife on the final day that a deal had been agreed with Aston Villa which would see him sign for them and return to us on a six-month loan deal.
It seemed fanciful at the time and we don’t report on rumours unless it’s substantiated or sounds plausible and this one doesn’t. If Andrade is to leave, it would surely be a clean cut with a good fee for us.
The reality is that if we’re to survive in League One, we need an injection of cash and at present that might have to come from player trading. Danny has said it before, he’s willing to sell if it means he can buy and we’ve seen a lot of success applying this method. In moving on Alex Woodyard, he found the money for John Akinde and Jason Shackell. When Sean Raggett left, we bought Harry Anderson and Michael Bostwick.
Every club is a selling club and if these latest stories are correct, then we could be in for a bit of a reshuffle. In terms of the current squad, losing Ellis wouldn’t be a huge blow due to his relatively limited game time, but in the long term it could be. His potential is huge and any club wanting to buy him would have to pay a big fee; perhaps even bigger than Bruno. He could eventually be a big loss, but like Jack Hobbs and Scott Loach a loss we don’t feel in real terms.
Bruno would be different, he’s been a key player this season and we’ve seen him develop into a fine Football League player. Surely any fee for him would have to be around the £500,000 mark, given his age, attributes and the current status of the club. We have seen big fees splashed around on Christian Doidge and Mo Eisa, as an attacking player Andrade would have to sit between those and the money we got for Alex Woodyard, thought to be around the £150,000.
It promises to be an interesting summer and if this is the only interest we get in our squad of champions, we will have got off lightly. If I had to pick one to stay and one to go, I’d prefer we kept Chapman. Bruno is a top player, but his stock is the highest it’s been for a while. He’s extremely saleable and plays the sort of position which I believe we can recruit well from below, just as we did with him a year ago.
As for Ellis, I desperately want to see him reach his potential in a city shirt and become the next Lee Frecklington. He’s got the potential to be very special and I believe in terms of value, his is only going to keep rising.
In an ideal world, I win the Euro Millions and neither have to go anywhere.