While Chelsea might have managed to secure another top-four finish this season, Frank Lampard’s side have continued to show some rather glaring issues at the back and defensive reinforcements are at the top of the 42-year-olds agenda.
Shipping four away at Bayern Munich last weekend and crashing out of the Champions League thanks to a 7-1 aggregate hammering, the West London outfit signed off their extended campaign with three defeats in their final four appearances and recorded just a sole clean sheet away from Stamford Bridge all year.
While the Blues might have already successfully recruited the likes of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, who are the three defensive stars that are topping Chelsea’s wishlist over the coming months?
Ben Chilwell – Leicester
With it appearing that Lampard has failed to take a shine to either Marcos Alonso or Emerson, it is no secret that the former England midfielder has made a new left-back his number one priority this summer.
Missing the final handful of games this season after picking up a foot injury at the start of July, Ben Chilwell saw Leicester fail to secure a top-four finish at the final hour and many feel that England’s #1 choice full-back could be seeking a fresh adventure and the promise of Champions League football.
An ever performer for the Foxes this season and just one game short of making his 100th senior appearance for Leicester, Chelsea have remained heavily linked with the 23-year-old and are still keen to strike a deal for their prized academy product.
While Brendan Rodgers made it clear last month that they have “absolutely no need” to cash in on Chilwell over the coming months, the Foxes boss wasn’t sure whether he had made his final appearance at the King Power.
However, although it is being suggested that Chilwell is keen on a move to West London this summer, The Mirror are reporting that Leicester have slapped an £80million price tag on the England international.
Still priced at 1/6 with Betfair to be a Chelsea player before the start of the 2020/2021 campaign quickly gets underway, negotiations still remain on-going between the two clubs.
Nicolás Tagliafico – Ajax
If Chelsea aren’t willing to match Leicester’s world record valuation of Chilwell, then it is being reported that Lampard has already started eyeing up alternatives and has identified Nicolás Tagliafico as a real possibility.
Since joining Ajax in 2018 from Independiente in his homeland, the Argentina international is widely regarded as one of the most exciting full-backs across Europe and has emerged as yet another star to come out of the Johan Cruyff Arena.
While Tagliafico and Ajax might have missed out on reclaiming their Eredivisie crown after their season was brought to an early finish back in March, the 27-year-old scored five goals and supplied five assists in 38 appearances.
With Sky Sports breaking the news on Tuesday that Lampard’s youngsters are ‘interested’ in the 25-cap international, Tagliafico’s current deal with Erik ten Hag’s side is set to expire in 2022 and they could be looking to cash in with interested from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid being reported.
Already doing successful business with the Dutch giants after bringing winger Hakim Ziyech over from Amsterdam, the two sides do have a working relationship and Chelsea would be confident of reaching another deal with Ajax.
If a deal for Chilwell can’t be reached with Leicester this summer, there is no doubt that Tagliafico would be a smart swoop as a Plan B.
Sergio Reguilon – Sevilla (on loan from Real Madrid)
Helping Sevilla knock Premier League rivals Wolves out of the Europa League on Tuesday night out in Germany, there is no doubt that Chelsea fans would have been keeping a watchful eye on the highly-touted Sergio Reguilon.
Emerging as a real star after making a year-long loan switch from Los Blancos last summer, the young full-back quickly became a fan favourite around the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán and played a vital role in Los Palanganas top-four return this year.
Making 35 appearances across all competitions for Julen Lopetegui’s side this season and renowned for his ability at both ends of the pitch, Reguilon was widely voted the best left-back in La Liga over this year’s extended campaign.
Just 23 and certainly fitting the young dynamic philosophy that Lampard is trying to implement at Stamford Bridge, Reguilon’s reputation has only continued to blossom after a stunning year under the one-time Spain boss.
With Madrid already rejecting an £18million opening bid from Everton, the Spanish U21 international also has admirers from the likes of Napoli, Atletico Madrid and London rivals, Arsenal.
With it appearing the Madrid are open to the idea of allowing their academy product to leave on a permanent basis this summer, The Sun are reporting that Reguilon’s agent has opened discussions with the Chelsea hierarchy about a possible deal.
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