Chelsea’s interest in Hellas Verona centre back Marash Kumbulla is nothing new. The player has been linked to Chelsea twice in the past few months, and that trend will probably continue for some time if the latest reports out of Italy are to be believed.
Local paper, L’Arena (via Sport Witness) claim that Kumbulla could follow in former Verona player Jorginho’s footsteps and join the Blues, albeit skipping the Napoli part of the journey in the process. (Jorginho was instrumental in Verona achieving promotion from Serie B in 2012-13.)
However, just as before, Inter Milan are said to remain in the driver’s seat for Kumbulla’s signature, and have apparently already initiated contacts with both the club and the 20-year-old’s entourage. There is a belief that Kumbulla has already played the last game for Hellas, who will now look to cash in while interest is high.
A price tag of €23m has been mooted, which really isn’t a lot these days, but Kumbulla is relatively inexperienced with just 21 senior appearances. With Lampard wishing for a more experienced centre-back to help solve our defensive woes, Kumbulla, despite his playing ability and potential, may not be the right man for the job at the moment.
NB: Kumbulla was highlighted in Statsbomb’s look at Hellas Verona back in February, praising him for his “intuition, physicality and anticipation” but knocking him for not being very fast or very good with the ball at his feet ... yet.