Chelsea are reportedly the latest club to enter the race to sign highly-rated Hertha Berlin star Valentino Lazaro in the summer transfer window.
According to TransferMarketWeb, Chelsea are among a host of clubs that are eyeing a summer move for Valentino Lazaro. The Hertha Berlin star has been in good form this season and also has the likes of Inter Milan, AC Milan, Napoli and even West Ham United hot on his trail.
Valentino Lazaro joined Hertha from Austrian side RB Salzburg in 2017, initially on loan, before the deal was made permanent in the last summer. The 23-year-old has played both as a right-back and in an advanced position as a right-sided midfielder this season, with varying results – 5 assists and 2 goals in 24 league appearances.
Lazaro has been a key part of the Hertha Berlin side that started the season well but are now mid-table in Bundesliga. The 23-year-old though, might be set to quit the club just 12 months into his journey, with so many clubs interested in the Austrian and Chelsea joining the race as well.
The Blues have Cesar Azpilicueta and Davide Zappacosta as part of their roster for the right side of defence. But, the report states that Zappacosta is more or less penciled in to exit the club in the summer, which makes the right-back area one of the priority positions to fill.
Chelsea have been rocked by a transfer ban but are hopeful they can at least squeeze a transfer window in before the ban period or can possibly get it annulled, according to recent reports. Should the Blues not be able to squeeze in a transfer window, the question of pursuing Valentino Lazaro goes out of the window.
But, the hierarchy are making plans, should they be given the opportunity to invest into the squad come summer. Lazaro is an attacking right-sided star who would be able to provide more gumption to the Chelsea attacks than Cesar Azpilicueta, who is more defensive in his approach and has not exactly been in the best of forms this season under Maurizio Sarri.
Another issue might be the managerial ring-a-rosie that Chelsea are often associated with. Sarri arrived last summer but is already being tipped to not be the manager for the 2019-20 campaign. Lazaro would not want to risk a change of managers after his arrival, which ultimately sees him being sidelined from the squad, as has happened to many other stars in the footballing world.
The 23-year-old would want regular playing time, something he could find in London, albeit at West Ham United. The Hammers will be looking for a long-term replacement for Pablo Zabaleta and Lazaro could be the man to replace the veteran Argentinian.
It will be interesting to see whether the Italian clubs mentioned come swooping in for Lazaro in the summer. Chelsea’s bid though, is likely to hinge upon their eligibility than willingness.