Stoke City have been dealt a huge blow in their bid to keep Nathan Collins at the bet365 Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a report by Football League World, who claim that Burnley are close to agreeing a £12m fee with the Potters for the transfer of the 20-year-old centre-back.
The report goes on to state that the defender is already scheduled to have a medical with the Premier League side in the coming days, with Stoke now resigned to losing the £1.8m-rated man in the summer transfer window.
While it would be hard to argue that £12m is a decent transfer fee to receive for a player who has made just 47 senior appearances for the club, the fact that Stoke look set to lose one of their brightest stars ahead of next season is sure to leave fans of the club devastated.
Indeed, over his 22 Championship appearances for the Potters last season, the £5.9k-per-week centre-back helped his team keep nine clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 1.2 interceptions, 1.1 tackles and winning five duels per game.
The youngster also chipped in going forwards, scoring two goals and providing one assist, while also making an average of 0.5 key passes per fixture, with these metrics seeing Collins earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.90 – ranking him as Michael O’Neill’s ninth-best performer in the second tier of English football.
As such, considering his returns while still being just 20 years of age, it would very much appear as if the player whom Jim Crawford dubbed a “fantastic” defender has an extremely bright future in the game, and, with three further years on his contract at the bet365 Stadium, perhaps Stoke could have demanded slightly more than the £12m the Irishman looks to be costing Burnley this summer.