November 24, 2020

Chelsea maintain focused on Chilwell with no left-back alternatives contacted

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Frank Lampard remains steadfast in his vision of having the England international at Stamford Bridge next season despite the Foxes reluctance to sell

Chelsea remain focused on signing Leicester City‘s Ben Chilwell, but are hopeful that the left-back can put pressure on his own club to help make a move to west London more straightforward.

Leicester have so far publicly insisted the 23-year-old is not for sale and have privately rejected an approach from the Blues that would see them paid in instalments for the England international.

With the Foxes in a financially stable position despite missing out on Champions League qualification for next season, they are unwilling to accept anything less than their asking price for a player they have tied down to a contract until June 2024.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is keen to get secure his priority transfer targets in each position this summer, and Goal has learned that he remains unwavering in his wish to get Chilwell to Stamford Bridge, despite other left-backs being on the market.

The Blues have a shortlist that includes Ajax‘s Nicholas Tagliafico, Porto‘s Alex Telles and Getafe‘s Marc Cucurella as alternatives, but there have been no concrete discussions around any player, aside from Chilwell.

Each player would be available for under £30 million ($38m), whereas with Chilwell  it could take a similar offer to the £80m ($102m) Manchester United paid to sign Harry Maguire last summer to even get the Foxes to the negotiating table.

There is a chance that Chelsea may hold off on signing a left-back if they cannot bring in Chilwell, and instead keep hold of both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri for the 2020-21 campaign.

Neither Alonso nor Emerson have been explicitly told they are surplus to requirements at this stage, with Lampard keen to keep his side focused on Saturday’s FA Cup final meeting with Arsenal.

Both current Chelsea left-backs have had long spells out of the team this season, but remain willing to fight for their place in the long-term and make successful careers in the Premier League.

Emerson currently has the most interest in his services from both Inter and Juventus, but Chelsea would want to make back the £20m ($24m) fee that they paid for him in 2018.

Despite having only made a two-minute cameo in the Premier League since January, Italy international Emerson is understood to be ready to earn another run in the first team unless told otherwise by Lampard.

Chelsea’s activity around signing a new left-back comes following the signings of RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner and Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech for a combined fee of £84 million ($105m).

Talks with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, meanwhile, remain ongoing, while West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is another key target for the club.

West Ham are now increasingly considering player sales this summer due to a poor financial outlook amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Ideally, the Hammers would rather sell anyone but their 21-year-old midfielder, who is their most prized asset. They may reconsider, however, later in the summer.

Furthermore, the Blues are considering replacing struggling goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has loan interest from Valencia.

However, even after identifying possible targets in Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Ajax’s Andre Onana, the Blues may be forced to keep hold of their £71m ($91m) world-record signing as the potential fees involved and his £9m-per-season ($12m) wages tcould prove to be too high for interested parties.