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Centre-backs Lewis Dunk and Gabriel Magalhães again linked with Chelsea

Could they be the “mystery” centre-back Chelsea are supposedly after?

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It’s fair to say that Lewis Dunk is an underrated defender. It’s also fair to say that the soon-to-be 29-year-old should not command an exorbitant fee in the transfer market even though his contract runs all the way through 2023. But then again, this is silly season where “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”.

And so, as expected, “Chelsea ‘inquire about Brighton defender Lewis Dunk’ but are quoted £50m for the England international” reads a certain Daily Mail headline just days after rumors of Chelsea working on signing a mystery £50m-rated centre-back.

The original source for the story is The Times, who are usually not the worst source. However, £50m for a defender who will be 30 soon and is not world-class by any means does seem a little quite preposterous.

On paper, Dunk might be a slight improvement on some (all?) of our centre-backs and would definitely improve our set-piece defending but there are younger, better, cheaper alternatives available, so this signing does look unlikely for the Blues (even though sillier things have occurred in past calciomercatos).

A story that does seem a little more credible is FC Lille’s Gabriel Magalhães getting linked to Chelsea. The source, Brazilian journalist Marcus Alves (who?), does seem dubious initially, but it’s worth noting that Gabriel has been linked with a summer 2020 move just last week.

Gabriel is 1.90 meters tall and left-footed, so he would solve two of the major issues that we have in defence: absence of a left-footed LCB (which Nathan Aké would solve as well) and our lack of aerial prowess in set-piece defending (which Nathan Aké would not solve). Magalhães’s contract expires in 2021 and he is represented by Giuliano Bertolucci; both are factors which could help us should we decide to pursue the 22-year-old.

Stay tuned cause the centre-back search is just heating up!

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