Chelsea have the long-linked Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez as one of four centre-back targets on their summer shortlist on top of their desire to land Erling Braut Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Thomas Tuchel is looking to freshen up his defence with Fikayo Tomori likely to join AC Milan permanently and Thiago Silva only getting older.
Silva is expected to sign a contract extension to stay at Stamford Bridge into the 2021-22 season having proven an excellent acquisition in his first season with the club this term, having joined on a free from Paris Saint-Germain.
But at 36 and turning 37 in September, the Brazil international’s workload will have to be managed next season while Milan have an option to sign Tomori for £26million at the end of the season and want to buy the player permanently.
Thomas Tuchel also has Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta as options in a three-man defence while Marc Guehi has impressed for Swansea City in the Championship and Malang Sarr will return from a loan spell at Porto.
Rudiger and Christensen have yet to sign new contracts however and Azpilicueta’s deal runs out in the summer of 2022, as does Guehi’s current agreement.
Chelsea are expected to therefore recruit in defence in the coming windows and according to Goal the club’s hierarchy have drawn up a list of four options at the back, headlined by Atletico’s Gimenez.
The Uruguayan, 26, has been on Chelsea’s radar for several years but is unlikely to be departing the Wanda Metropolitano any time soon.
That’s because of an £103m release clause in his contract which Los Rojiblancos will demand in full to lose a player who is pivotal to Diego Simeone.
With top target Haaland likely to command a fee in the region of £100m if he leaves Dortmund this summer, Chelsea are more likely to concentrate greater funds on the Norwegian.
But the Londoners still want to make a top-level signing to add to their back-line and cheaper alternatives to Gimenez include RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate.
The Frenchman is also liked by Liverpool and Manchester United among others having starred alongside Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano at the Red Bull Arena.
Only 21, it remains to be seen if signing Konate will be feasible this summer with Upamecano headed to rivals Bayern and if he were to leave, he would surely command a fee of around £40m.
With Upamecano going to Bavaria, however, Chelsea also have two players on the books of Bayern who they could also pursue.
David Alaba, 28, is out of contract this coming summer and seems likely to join Real Madrid but Chelsea have regularly been mentioned in reports discussing his future.
If the Austrian heads to La Liga, then Niklas Sule is another option for Chelsea in defence, the burly German international still just 25.
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Goal say all of the Bundesliga trio are on Chelsea’s watchlist but Alaba wants to move to Spain and is demanding huge wages from his next club given he will move as a free agent.
Micah Richards meanwhile believes the Blues would be incredibly fearsome with Haaland leading the attack for Tuchel.
He said: “I think they’ve got absolutely everything. They’ve sorted their defensive problems.
“The only thing to add that little bit of icing to the cake would be a striker. They’ve put Werner in there, they’ve put Havertz in there.
“It seems like they’ve not really cracked that offensive aspect of the game. I’m not going to speculate. If you put Haaland in this team, they’ll be scary next season.”