Chelsea receive Ben Chilwell boost as left back’s desire for move could see Leicester lower transfer fee
Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell as the Foxes could be forced to lower their asking price.
Leicester, a place above the Blues ahead of the Premier League’s resumption next week, are all but resigned to selling the England international this summer, with Chelsea prioritising the left-back with Timo Werner’s move set to be completed before Monday.
The midlands club were holding out for a similar fee to the £80million Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire last summer, but given Chilwell’s desire to move to west London and the impact of the coronavirus on the transfer market, could be forced to accept closer to Chelsea’s £50million valuation of the 23-year-old.
The Foxes are still in a strong bargaining position given that Chilwell is contracted until 2024, but have begun looking at replacements for the full-back, including former Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand. The Southampton defender, 30, is out of contract on the south coast at the end of next season and negotiations over a new deal will likely wait until the extent of Leicester’s interest becomes clearer.
Leicester’s acceptance that Chilwell will likely depart, as well as their stance that they are comfortable with letting one high profile player go per summer, as was the case with Riyad Mahrez and Harry Maguire in previous years, means there is a deal to be done for Chelsea.
However, should the two clubs not find a consensus, the Blues have also tracked Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico and Porto’s Alex Telles as alternatives.
After an impressive first season for Frank Lampard in west London, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is backing his vision to push the club back into contention for the Premier League title and other trophies.
More good news for Chelsea
Chelsea are also set to receive a further £13.5million after Atalanta sporting director, Giovanni Sartori, revealed the Italian side will activate their option to make Mario Pasalic’s loan move permanent.
It would be a healthy return for the 25-year-old, who has not made a single Chelsea appearance since joining the club in 2014. “We’re going to buy Mario Pasalic on a permanent deal from Chelsea,” Sartori told Sky Sport in Italy. “We want to use the buy option.”