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Chelsea defender rumors: Raphaël Varane, Ibrahima Konaté, Davide Zappacosta latest

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Oh no!

Real Madrid v Osasuna - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly Chelsea’s primary competition in the presumptive race to sign Raphaël Varane, and according to the Mirror, they are indeed weighing up a £40m bid to bring him to Old Trafford to play alongside Harry Maguire. United are seemingly confident in signing him for that price despite Real Madrid’s reported asking price of €70m, thanks to his expiring contract.

According to Sky Sports, Manchester United also have strong interest in Atalanta’s Cristian Romero, who could be available for €40m, as well as Sevilla’s Jules Koundé and Lille’s Sven Botman.

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig have confirmed that there is indeed a release clause in Ibrahima Konaté’s contract, with Oliver Mintzlaff, the global head of soccer at the club admitting that there is little he can do to prevent bids from being tabled.

“We’ll see what happens. I spoke to him this week. No decision has been made yet.”

“There is an exit clause. That’s why we don’t sit in the driver’s seat. He is a player we want to keep.”

-Oliver Mintzlaff; source: Sky Deutschland via Goal

Despite Chelsea’s interest in the France U21 international, Liverpool are apparently set to win the race for his signature.

One defender who could be coming (back) to Stamford Bridge this summer is our own loanee Davide Zappacosta, who has been in most impressive form this season but will likely not be retained by Genoa due to the financials involved — despite the 28-year-old wishing to stay, as per Il Secolo XIX. The current economic climate has made it especially difficult for the smaller clubs to pursue permanent deals, although a silver lining is that Zappacosta’s form has seemingly attracted the interest of the bigger clubs in Italy, which could help him find a new home.