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Kalajdžić, Tchouaméni, Bettinelli ‘under consideration’ by Chelsea — report

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Digging deep for rumors

Italy v Austria - UEFA Euro 2020 - Round of 16 Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Chelsea’s quiet transfer window could get a bit louder if The Athletic’s latest rundown of the situation has any ounce of truth within it. No, we’re not suddenly dropping £150m+ for Erling Haaland, £100m+ for Declan Rice, or [pick a number] for [pick a player]. But we are apparently “considering” alternatives at those positions.

At striker, a name “thought to be on Tuchel’s radar” (why is Tuchel running a transfer radar; that’s not his job?) is Saša Kalajdžić, whom we might remember for being the first player in about a million years to score against Italy — though his goal would be in vain as Italy beat Austria in the sweet 16 of Euro 2020/1 on their way to winning it all.

Kalajdžić is certainly a tall drink of water at 2m (6’7”), but his club, VfB Stuttgart would reportedly demand a rather tall fee for him as well, at least £34m, which would immediately put the 24-year-old into the category of a good, yet overpriced signing with whom to clog up the squad for years to come.

The Athletic once again bring up Danny Ings as well, but they remain the only passengers on that sad train. I suppose Ings could be a decent stopgap and with just a year left on his contract at Southampton, might not even cost an arm and a leg, but signing Ings at the cost of Tammy Abraham would be fairly ridiculous and upsetting.

At midfield, the alternative name brought up for “serious consideration” is AS Monaco’s Aurélien Tchouaméni, who was already linked in January in a similar alt-Rice fashion. He’s no Eduardo Camavinga, but does come with the endorsement of current teammate Cesc Fàbregas. There is no price mentioned for the 21-year-old, though Monaco paid €18m for him last summer and would probably demand a fair bit more than that.

Lastly, in the highly exciting world of third-choice goalkeepers, the name of Marcus Bettinelli returns after a four-year absence. The long-time Fulham man, who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough before leaving our West London neighbors for good, was linked with Chelsea in 2015 (Čech replacement) as well as 2017 (Begović replacement). He’s still only just 29, however, which would make him a bit young to be wasting away as a third-choice at Chelsea.