Exclusive – Chelsea will prioritise signing the signings of a centre-back and striker this summer, but also remain in pursuit of a left-back.
The Blues are aware of their issues at both ends of the field this season. Keeping clean sheets has been a huge issue, while converting chances in attack has proven to be a costly problem all year.
While there is also an acceptance that the left-back position needs upgrading, a source has told 90min that Chelsea would prefer to set aside the big money from their transfer budget on a centre-back and striker instead – preferably finding cheaper alternatives in other areas of the pitch.
Among the centre half options, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is liked by many at Stamford Bridge. He has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain, though the Senegal international is yet to make a decision on his future. He would cost a club record fee were he to end up at Chelsea.Koulibaly1AzpilicuetaWho has been fouled more in Champions League 2019/20?
RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Lille’s Gabriel Magalhães are also in Chelsea’s sights.
In attack, Chelsea have doubts over Michy Batshuayi, while Olivier Giroud could walk away when his contract expires this summer. The Blues have established Tammy Abraham as their first choice striker for the duration of the season, though the club now feel they would like to find a player of similar or better quality in order to improve the level of the squad options.
Spending so heavily on these areas will likely impact their pursuit of a left-back. The Blues like Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, who they identified as a top priority earlier this season, but the Foxes will not sell for cheap – and likely will hold out for a similar fee to what they sold Harry Maguire for last summer. They do not need or want to sell the England international.
Porto’s Alex Telles is another player who is under consideration, but he may still not be Chelsea’s first-choice target. A Bola (via Sport Witness) note that Telles’ price tag has jumped back up towards the €40m mark, though he does have one year left on his contract and may come cheaper.
22-year-old Basel defender Blás Riveros has previously been discussed, while Chelsea have also enquired about Southampton’s Matt Targett, as they look for cheaper options to solve their defensive problems.
Frank Lampard’s side have already agreed a deal for Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech and they hope to follow that up with blockbuster additions at both ends of the team, but whether they can plug all the holes in their squad with their preferred targets will come down to how much money they have available.