Chelsea to postpone central midfielder signing until next year – The Athletic
Chelsea are likely to postpone the signing of a new central midfielder until next summer, according to The Athletic.
The Blues have long identified Declan Rice as the main target. However, as West Ham demand around £100m for their star this summer, an approach would make more sense next year, especially if Rice continues to reject the Hammers’ contract offers.
Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco is an alternative option but he is not a finished article. There’s a belief at Chelsea that an extra year in France would do the 21-year-old good.
The Blues also explored a loan for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez. However, The Athletic claims that the talks broke down over the weekend, as the player himself was not keen on the transfer.
As Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are already competing for two slots in the starting XI, signing a player who would be ready to be the fourth-choice option is not easy. Besides, that is the reason why Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher both opted for loan moves.
It means that Jules Kounde might well be the last remaining bit of business for the Blues to do. As per multiple sources, Chelsea are preparing the final bid for the Sevilla centre-back before the transfer window slams shut.