Chelsea have decided that they will sign a Premier League-proven central defender to partner main transfer priority Jules Kounde in the defence for 2022/23, according to reports, as Josko Gvardiol and Kalidou Koulibaly amongst others learn their fate.
Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen's Chelsea departures have already been confirmed with Romelu Lukaku set to follow the pair out of the door at Stamford Bridge. With an £8million Inter Milan loan return set to be sealed, attention will turn to incoming players with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kounde most prominent on the list. Todd Boehly will have to mull over how much needs to be spent on the backline with £200million set to be available this summer.
Of course, the Blues still have a battle on their hands for Kounde with Barcelona also hoping to sign the French international in spite of their financial woes. However, it is understood that Chelsea are still the overwhelming favourites to land the 23-year-old with more progression on the deal expected in the next week, if the latest reports in the European media are to be believed.
football.london understands that at least two centre-half signings are on the agenda for Boehly this summer, who looks set to act as a temporary sporting director amid links to Michael Edwards and Andrea Berta following Marina Granovskaia's exit. The identity of the second target remains up in the air with many of the European elite being linked; the likes of Koulibaly, Gvardiol, Matthijs De Ligt, Present Kimpembe and others have all been named as potential candidates.
But it's options closer to home that are reportedly to be given priority as Kounde's new defensive partner according to TalkChelsea. Apparently, Chelsea want to sign a player with Premier League experience to partner the Sevilla star in defence.
The likes of Max Kilman and Wesley Fofana have been long-term targets of the club. football.london understand that there is interest in Wolves defender Kilman, but his recent ankle ligament injury means that a move is not imminent. Chelsea could potentially have an upper hand in any race to sign the defender, however, with his younger brother already part of the Blue's academy.
The recent injury to Kilman and the Fofana's recovery from a broken leg with ligament damage make a move for either defender unlikely this summer. This then takes us to the likes Man City's Nathan Ake and Brighton's Adam Webster, with various outlets already linking the Dutchmen to a surprise West London return. It will certainly be interesting to see how this development unfolds further as the summer transfer window progresses.
Chelsea fans- Are there any Premier League defenders in particular that you want to see partner Jules Kounde next season? Leave your thoughts down below in the comments section!