Despite names like Alex Telles and Marc Cucurella floating around in the rumor mill these days, Chelsea’s priority signing at left-back was, is, and will be Ben Chilwell. But that doesn’t guarantee success, far from it in fact.
As per a report from Goal, while Chelsea are “increasingly confident” of convincing Chilwell himself to join the cause — he is said to be “interested” already so that shouldn’t be too hard in that case — we are far less confident in being able to agree a transfer fee with Leicester City for the 23 year-old left-back.
The Foxes are third in the currently suspended Premier League table, five points above Chelsea, and their strong financial position as well as probable qualification for the Champions League makes them resistant to approaches for their star players. They sold Harry Maguire for £80 million last summer despite a much weaker league and negotiating position, so there’s a good chance that Chilwell will command a similar fee, if not more.
Chelsea have been looking at alternate options as well, with Porto’s Alex Telles frequently mentioned in the rumor pages. While Telles has a €40 million release clause, which would make him a more reasonable proposition, his age and lack of experience in a top-five league may act as deterrents. Getafe’s Marc Cucurella with his €25 million release clause is another option, but he has had just one good season, and his name would likely be towards the bottom of the shortlist.
Bringing in a new left back is one thing, but Chelsea will also need to offload at least one of Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmeiri to create the necessary space in the squad. Inter Milan and Juventus had showed an interest in both of them before, but everything may now depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic plays out.