Chelsea could land long-term target Elseid Hysaj for free next summer after seeing their €50 million bid scuppered by Napoli in 2018.
According to a report by The Sun, who have quoted Elseid Hysaj’s agent Mario Giuffredi’s interview with Radio Punto Nuovo, Chelsea could sign him on a free transfer next summer. Giuffredi also claimed that the Blues failed to sign the Albanian defender with a €50 million bid in 2018.
Hysaj has made steady progress since joining Napoli from Empoli in the summer of 2015, having followed Maurizio Sarri to San Paolo. Over the last four years, the Albanian international has been a consistent performer for the Partenopei, but has seen his stock drop somewhat, having had to share game time with Kevin Malcuit and Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
This season, Hysaj has featured just four times and things seem to have reached a head. The 25-year-old’s agent has suggested that a departure from Napoli is imminent, which seems to have given Chelsea, who had a €50 million for the player being knocked back in the summer of 2018, a major boost in his pursuit, as per The Sun.
In an interview with Radio Punto Nuovo, Hysaj’s agent, Mario Giuffredi said, “Whatever happens with him, the outcome will be great. If we leave, we’ll do what we had to do in the summer.”
“If we don’t leave, Napoli will lose the player on a free transfer, but it’ll always work out for us. A year-and-a-half ago, Napoli could’ve taken €50 million from Chelsea. If Hysaj stays at Napoli, the Neapolitan club risks losing the player for nothing.”
Chelsea hold a long-standing interest in Hysaj, having made a number of attempts to sign him in previous windows. In fact, widespread reports in the summer of 2018 had claimed that Hysaj would follow Sarri for a second time, this time to Chelsea, like Jorginho that summer.
But, a move failed to materialise and the Blues have not had the opportunity to make another move for the 25-year-old due to the two-window ban imposed on them by FIFA. With the ban ending next summer, Chelsea can begin to plan their signings.
The Sun claim that Chelsea still retain some degree of interest in Hysaj, although it comes as a bit of a surprise. With Cesar Azpilicueta improving as the season has progressed and Reece James emerging as a long-term option at the right side of the Chelsea defence, the need to bolster the position does not appear to be urgent.
But, with Azpilicueta now 30, Hysaj could be the player to take the Spaniard’s place in the Chelsea first-team setup, should he show signs of regression. Nevertheless, if Chelsea do make a move for Hysaj, they could sign him for free, and it remains to be seen if they launch the offensive for the player next summer.