Chelsea scouting City's McGinn

English Premier League giants Chelsea may be preparing a swoop for Derry City starlet Niall McGinn.

The 21 year-old Tyrone man has become a regular in the Brandywell side this season after joining the club from Dungannon Swifts.

The former Tyrone U21 footballer has been tracked by a number of English league clubs with the most recent interest coming from Championship side Ipswich Town.

However, it's emerged that Roman Abramovich's super-rich West London outfit could be the latest club to check out the pacey winger.

Initial reports suggested that Chelsea's chief scout Frank Arnesen attended Bray's Carlisle Grounds on Friday night when Derry were defeated 2-1. However it's now being suggested that a local scout Aidan Tyrell was there on behalf of the Stamford Bridge club.

The Blues have spent more than 350 million on big-name players since 2003 but it's thought the club wants to uncover young, unknown talent to find stars who can be moulded into potential first team players.

If Chelsea step up their interest it could start a bidding war with Celtic.

The Glasgow club has also watched the player on a number of occasions this season and is planning to make a bid in the January transfer window.

McGinn was signed by Derry manager Stephen Kenny in January from Dungannon Swifts FC where he rose through the youth ranks.

A very promising young talent, McGinn has been capped by the Northern Ireland U-23 side. He mainly plays on the left or right side of midfield but can also be used as another striker.