Chelsea appear to be closing in on Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell as the next two big-money signings in this throwback big-spending summer, but that leaves two positions still in need of attention, goalkeeper and center back.
At the latter, despite links to the likes of Ben White and Declan Rice — i.e. young, promising, already good and potentially great players ... but also very expensive — the leading candidate who’s emerged over the past couple days has been Thiago Silva, who will be turning 36 next month.
The PSG captain will be leaving Paris after Sunday’s Champions League final, and Chelsea seem to be winning the race to sign him on a free afterwards. Of course it won’t be “free” overall since Silva will command decent wages, but the financial hit shouldn’t be too significant especially if we can agree for just a single year.
French media seem convinced this is happening, with L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) explaining that the veteran center back is meant to be a “transition” signing who fits into Chelsea’s long-term plans of addressing the need at center back next summer instead (cue the Dayot Upamecano rumors). And that certainly makes some sense.
Silva could also give time for talented center backs in the Academy to get ready to make the jump. The likes of Marc Guehi, Dynel Simeu, Levi Colwill, and new arrival Xavier Mbuyamba are all quite close to getting that chance. And the likes of Fikayo Tomori or even Jake Clarke-Salter could gain further experience on loan in the meantime. (Though Tomori could be staying if another center back were to leave, possibly.)
The report claims that Chelsea have been working towards this for at least three weeks, with Silva ready to make a decision after tomorrow’s final (Fiorentina have made an offer as well).