Chelsea are closing in on the capture of Dynamo Kyiv centre-back Ilya Zabarnyi, who is expected to cost around €12 million.
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Chelsea are zeroing in on the acquisition of Ilya Zabarnyi. The highly-rated Dynamo Kyiv defender is being tipped for a switch to Stamford Bridge in the summer, with the recently-crowned European champions having submitted a €12 million bid.
Former Chelsea forward and current Ukraine head coach Andriy Shevchenko has reportedly played a key role in convincing the Chelsea bosses to take a look at Zabarnyi. The 18-year-old has already enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Dynamo Kyiv, making 21 league appearances.
Zabarnyi’s defensive partnership alongside the likes of Vitaliy Mykolenko, Tomasz Kedziora and Oleksandr Karavaev have indeed played a key role in helping Dynamo secure the Ukrainian championship. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by top teams either, with Chelsea appearing quite keen on securing his services before the start of the European championship.
Needless to suggest, Zabarnyi is expected to play a key role for Ukraine in the Euros, which, in turn, could massively affect his valuation. The Blues, as a result, are intent on completing the deal for just €12 million, as Thomas Tuchel hopes to add more options to his defensive ranks.
The German doesn’t have any other choice either, as Fikayo Tomori is soon expected to make his loan move to AC Milan permanent while Thiago Silva is nearing the final phase of his career. Cesar Azpilicueta, too, should not be viewed as a long-term option, leaving Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger as the only viable options.
The addition of someone like Zabarnyi could certainly add more fuel to Chelsea’s defensive unit. As mentioned earlier, the youngster has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in Ukraine’s top flight this season, and his imposing 1.89m figure, coupled with his ability to read the game might be useful in Tuchel’s tactical philosophy.
At the age of 18, Zabarnyi also has time on his side, although he is not the only young defender Chelsea are eyeing at the moment. Alongside him, the Blues are also keen on acquiring the services of VfL Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix as well as Sevilla’s defensive ace Jules Kounde in the upcoming summer.
Zabarnyi, though, is by far the cheapest of the three, and could help Chelsea solidify their youth options, with Tuchel himself quite fond of giving young players the opportunity to shine at the highest level of football.