Chelsea are reportedly leading the race to sign Alfonso Pedraza from La Liga outfit Villarreal in a €35 million deal this summer.

According to a report by Italian outlet Calcio Napoli, Napoli are interested in signing Alfonso Pedraza in the summer transfer window. However, the Partenopei could have an uphill task in pursuit of the 25-year-old defender, who has a €35 million release clause, with Chelsea in pole position to sign him from Villarreal.

Pedraza is coming off the back of a memorable 2020/21 campaign, wherein he was given his big break in the Villarreal first-team setup by Unai Emery. While the 25-year-old had featured quite extensively in the 2018/19 season as well, he never really looked a major part of the first-team setup at El Madrigal, having been sent out on loan to two different La Liga clubs previously.

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In 2020/21, the Spaniard amassed 44 appearances for the Yellow Submarine, chipping in with two goals and four assists. His progress this past season has piqued the interest of several big-name clubs across Europe, with Chelsea being the most notable of the suitors at present.

Chelsea are set for another big summer transfer window wherein they will continue overhauling their squad, this time to Thomas Tuchel’s liking. And, the left wing-back slot is one position that is likely to be reinforced this summer, with the Blues ready to cash in on Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso.

If both Emerson and Alonso are offloaded, Chelsea will need to sign a replacement who can provide competition to Ben Chilwell. To that end, it is understandable why Chelsea are interested in the 25-year-old, who could well depart Villarreal considering there are as many as three left-backs in the La Liga club’s squad currently.

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However, Chelsea, who are in pole position to sign the Spanish defender, are facing competition for Pedraza from Napoli, who have coincidentally been linked with Emerson as well. Meanwhile, to prise him away from Villarreal, triggering his €35 million release clause will be necessary.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if either of Chelsea and Napoli make their move for Alfonso Pedraza by triggering his €35 million exit clause. But, for now, what appears to be certain is that the Blues are leading the race to sign the 25-year-old, who could arrive at Stamford Bridge as a long-term replacement for Emerson and Alonso.

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