Chelsea are weighing up a move for Alfonso Pedraza as a potential alternative for first-choice left-back Ben Chilwell next season.
According to an exclusive report from Caught Offside, Chelsea are in the market for Alfonso Pedraza. The Villarreal defender has been identified as an ideal target as Thomas Tuchel looks to reshape the left-back department that could see the departure of both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri.
Villarreal are open to cashing in on Pedraza this summer, as they already have two established options in Alberto Moreno and Pervis Estupinan. The player himself is attracted to the idea of joining Chelsea, as he does favour playing in the UEFA Champions League in the upcoming campaign.
Villarreal themselves had qualified for the Champions League too, having triumphed in the UEFA Europa League last season by beating Manchester United in the final. Pedraza had played a key role behind their successful campaign, playing in all but three matches in Europe, including the final.
Overall, the attack-minded left-back has made a total of 94 competitive appearances for the Yellow Submarines. He has recently become a first-team regular for Unai Emery, notably chipping in with four assists in the league last season. However, it appears Pedraza is ready to take the next step in his career, with Chelsea now emerging as a potential destination.
There is no secret that the Blues are in the market for new fullbacks this summer. They were notably linked with a move for ex-Tottenham star Kieran Trippier earlier this month, although it seems Tuchel is more worried about the left-back unit.
The German tactician does not rate Emerson or Alonso highly. The latter was apparently approached by FC Barcelona last summer, though Chelsea reportedly rejected the advances. It seems the Premier League giants favour bringing in someone before offloading their unwanted players.
Pedraza fits the bill perfectly, having enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence over the past couple of seasons. His attack mentality, combined with his technical prowess, fits in well with Tuchel’s tactical philosophy. It could see him become an integral part of Chelsea’s future, as he hopes to compete with Ben Chilwell for a place in the first team next season.
The Villarreal left-back isn’t the only option, however, with Chelsea also in the market for emerging Barcelona ace Alejandro Balde. The youngster represents more risks but would command a lower price tag, so at the end of the day, the club’s pursuit of Pedraza may depend on Villarreal’s valuation this summer.