Chelsea have joined Serie A Champions Juventus in the pursuit for Real Madrid’s Brazilian fullback Danilo.
According to a report in The Mirror, the English and Italian League champions are currently embroiled in a two-way tussle for the 25-year-old right-back. The two clubs are already in a battle for Alex Sandro, whose signature is highly on Chelsea’s list of priorities this summer.
The Biaconeri are in the hunt for a replacement for Dani Alves, who departed the club after a year at the club by mutual consent, whereas the Blues are looking to add reinforcements to their defence as they prepare to return to the UEFA Champions League and also defend their title.
Since moving to Santiago Bernabeu from Portuguese giants FC Porto in the summer of 2015 for €31.5 million, the Brazilian has failed to make a major impact at the club and has had to resort to playing second fiddle to Dani Carvajal, who remains Zidane’s first choice right-back.
While he did start off as Rafa Benitez’s first choice right-back at the start of the 2015/16 campaign, the Spaniard’s eventual sacking midway through the season and the subsequent appointment of Zinedine Zidane as manager, led to Danilo falling down the pecking order.
He played 17 of the 26 games managed by Rafa Benitez prior to his sacking, missing out mostly due to a lung injury. After Zidane’s appointment, he managed to feature in only 14 of the 27 remaining games of that season, and things haven’t gotten any better this past season.
He made 25 appearances in their double-winning campaign, with a number of his 17 League appearances coming due to suspensions, injuries or the need to rest Carvajal. He made only 3 Champions League appearances and started 4 out of his 5 Copa del Rey appearances.
In his two seasons combined with Los Blancos, Danilo has won the La Liga, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and 2 UEFA Champions League titles, but has made only a combined total of 56 appearances over the course of that time, scoring 3 and assisting 9 goals.
While leaving FC Porto, he was was expected to grow into Brazil’s next big fullback sensation. However his career seems to have stalled and if he is fulfill his vast potential, a move away seems to be the best step at this point in time and if reports are to be believed, he has no shortage of suitors.
Massimiliano Allegri has been forced to dip into the market for a right-back post the surprise departure of Alves this summer. They currently only have Stephan Lichtsteiner in their ranks, but the Swiss veteran is 33 years of age now and besides the obvious need for depth, long-term reinforcements will be needed.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte reportedly wants to reunite Danilo with his left-back compatriot Alex Sandro at Stamford Bridge this summer. The duo played together for 3 seasons at FC Porto before they each transferred to Madrid and Juventus in 2015.
The Blues have reportedly had a massive £55 million bid for Sandro turned down by Juventus, but it is unlikely they will stop there. Juventus are already said to have drafted a contract for Danilo, but it now seems that they may face competition for the Brazilian international.
With the World Cup only a year away, Danilo cannot to afford to spend another season on the sidelines. The last time he played for his country was in an international friendly against Costa Rica in September last year, in which they emerged 1-0 victors.
Danilo, who has 4 seasons left on his current Real Madrid contract will have to feature week-in and week-out over the course of the season if he wants to be considered for Tite’s World Cup squad for Russia next year and it doesn’t seem like he will be get opportunity at Santiago Bernabeu.