The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding Premier League giants Chelsea as they brace themselves for another spending spree.
Amid all the excitement surrounding UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America, the transfer wheel in the market is well and truly running. This is, after all, going to be an exciting yet cautious and steady summer for football, as the majority of the European clubs look to recover from the financial blow they received in the aftermath of the pandemic.
One of the clubs expected to undergo yet another busy window is Chelsea. After securing the UEFA Champions League this past season, the Blues are determined to further strengthen their ranks to not only remain as European champions but also give Manchester City and Manchester United a run for their money in the Premier League next season.
Thomas Tuchel has already shown his desire to make a lot of changes to the squad, meaning we can not only expect players to come in but also leave Stamford Bridge over the next couple of months. Fikayo Tomori has already left London in favour of a permanent switch to AC Milan while others might meet the same fate.
So without further ado, The Hard Tackle delves into the latest transfer happenings surrounding the west London giants.
PSG close in on Chelsea target Achraf Hakimi
Our transfer roundup starts with Chelsea’s pursuit of Achraf Hakimi. According to Sky Sports, the Premier League giants are on the verge of facing defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign the Inter Milan full-back. The player himself favours a move to Paris, while PSG, with an improved offer of €70 million, managed to outbid Chelsea, who were only willing to spend €60 million.
A recent report from Italy did suggest that the Blues were looking to hijack the deal by offering €55 million, in addition to including Marcos Alonso, in an attempt to sweeten the asking price. Unfortunately, it appears Hakimi is destined to join PSG instead, as the young right-back continues to build his reputation following his initial breakthrough at Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea’s defeat in Hakimi’s pursuit, meanwhile, might force them to scour the market for potential alternatives. One of the players the club has been linked with recently, is Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who is making quite an impression with Italy in the ongoing European Championships. The Premier League giants, though, are expected to face stiff competition from Real Madrid.
Chelsea lead Manchester United in Jules Kounde chase
One thing always leads to another and that might be the case for Chelsea, as they shift their attention towards Jules Kounde, reports ABC Sevilla. The Sevilla centre-back is widely tipped to leave the club in the summer and has been linked with almost every other top club in Europe, including newly crowned European champions Chelsea.
The report suggests that Chelsea are leading Manchester United and even Real Madrid in pursuit of Kounde, who has an €80 million release clause. The English clubs, though, believe that the transfer might be sanctioned for as low as €55 million, with the Blues, in particular, hoping to add more quality in their defensive unit, having also been linked with another top centre-back in Maxence Lacroix.
It appears Thomas Tuchel is not a huge fan of Kurt Zouma, while Andreas Christensen also faces an uncertain future at the club. Not to mention, Chelsea have already gotten rid of Fikayo Tomori, with the Englishman joining AC Milan on a permanent deal earlier this summer.
Chelsea set to end Declan Rice interest
Moving on from midfielders, Chelsea are also determined to sign a new holding midfielder who can compete with Jorginho. However, according to Evening Standard, they are leaning towards ceding their interest in one of their top targets in Declan Rice.
It appears the Blues camp are more interested in tying star player N’Golo Kante down to a new contract after a successful season at Stamford Bridge whereas there is a growing belief that Rice will remain at West Ham in the summer. The Englishman is already captaining the Hammers, with no real desire to leave the London club, despite interest from Manchester United.
Chelsea, therefore, are willing to move on. In fact, they are already eyeing a move for youngster Eduardo Camavinga, as a potential alternative for Rice. The Frenchman is regarded as one of the best prospects in European football and is expected to cost much less than the West Ham midfielder this summer.
Rangers interested in Billy Gilmour
And finally, we wrap up our Chelsea roundup with an update on Billy Gilmour’s situation at Stamford Bridge. According to Daily Record, there is a growing belief that the youngster might have to spend next season on loan elsewhere, putting Rangers on red alert as they look to bring him back to Scotland.
Gilmour himself is actually a product of the Rangers youth academy. Steven Gerrard, as a result, is determined to bring him back following a successful season that saw him team break Celtic’s hegemony in Scottish football.
The young Chelsea midfielder shown a lot of promise in Scotland’s game against England, further impressing the onlookers that already rated him highly. Rangers, though, might face competition in the pursuit of Gilmour, who is also courted by Newcastle United.