Stoke City hoping Burnley interest in Nathan Collins could kick start an auction for the defender

Stoke City are hoping Burnley’s fresh offer for defender Nathan Collins will kick start an auction for the Irish youngster.

Nathan Collins
Nathan Collins

As reported over night, the Clarets are thought to have returned to Stoke with a £12m offer for top target Collins, having had an initial £4.5m offer for the centre back, who can also play at right back, rejected late in the January window.

The Potters were thought to want at least £10m for the 20-year-old, who is under contract until 2024 at the Bet365 Stadium, and they look certain to get their wish, with a number of other Premier League clubs believed to be monitoring the situation, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City.

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The Sun’s transfer guru Alan Nixon suggested Burnley’s latest bid was likely to be accepted by the Championship club, but should a bidding war ensue, it remains to be seen whether that will still be sufficient, or they will have to go higher, towards their transfer record of £15m, laid out for Chris Wood and Ben Gibson.

Collins started out as a youth in Dublin with Cherry Orchard, and in January 2016 was spotted by then assistant boss Mark Bowen's brother Tony.

The young Irishman made his debut in April 2019, and that summer signed a new five-year contract.

Collins started the 2019/20 season in the side under Nathan Jones, and was named captain - the youngest player to wear the armband for Stoke - against Leeds, but was sent off in an EFL Cup defeat at Crawley Town, and under new boss Michael O'Neill had to be patient for an opportunity back in the first team.

However, the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international made 27 appearances for Stoke last season, scoring twice, earning a regular berth in the side before a fracture in the base of his foot in February ruled him out for the season.

Collins is viewed as a player very much in the Sean Dyche mould, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City also believed to be keen on the 6ft 3ins defender.