Chelsea are reportedly eyeing a deal to bring Bayern Munich superstar Jerome Boateng, formerly a Manchester City player, back to the Premier League.
Chelsea are hot in pursuit of Southampton superstar Virgil Van Dijk but face stiff competition from the other top Premier League clubs. The aforementioned competition has now forced the Blues to line up an alternative target, with the club now showing interest in Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, according to The Sun.
Virgil Van Dijk has become one of the most hotly contested properties in world football. Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are all interested in the player while Everton have also been linked with a summer assault for the Southampton defender.
Claude Puel is being rumoured to be facing the sack while there has been no reports of a replacement being lined up. Amidst this uncertainty, Chelsea are setting up alternative targets in case Van Dijk ends up staying at Southampton or decides to move elsewhere.
Antonio Conte is now shifting his attention towards Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng. The German has blossomed into a world-class defender after departing Manchester City early on in his career, racking up a mammoth 67 senior caps for the National side while also becoming a regular at the back for the Bavarians.
This season, though, has seen Jerome Boateng play a restricted role in the first-team setup, after missing almost half of the season in aggregate, due to various injury bouts, with the latest being a thigh problem.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 21, 2017
Boateng is 28 and regular injuries at this stage of the career may become a problem for both the player and the club. Niklas Sule is already set to join the club and Boateng is likely to be pegged down on the pecking order, which could force him to look to move to pastures anew.
Chelsea need centre-backs who are comfortable on the ball for Conte’s 3-man central defence and Jerome Boateng fits the bill perfectly. The Blues have already said their goodbyes to legend John Terry and other players like Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma have also been linked with summer moves.
The prospect of regular first-team football will appeal to Boateng, who admitted in a recent interview that the lack of first-team football this season has left him unhappy. And the Blues could be set to pounce on the opportunity.
The 28-year-old would also bring a wealth of top-level Championship-winning experience along with him and is also likely to cost lower than the massive £50 million price for Van Dijk.
The Bavarians might be open to doing a deal provided they get a handsome compensation for the 28-year-old and the Blues have the financial backing to meet the demands, of both the player and the club.