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Aurélien Tchouaméni, Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice to headline Chelsea’s future midfield wishlist — reports

Silly Season vibes

AS Saint-Etienne v AS Monaco - Ligue 1 Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

International breaks are boring and ripe for transfer speculation. And so, even though the transfer window literally just closed last week, that’s no reason not to already start speculating about next summer. If football media had it their way, we’d have Silly Season all the time.

Today, the hills are alive with the names of Aurélien Tchouaméni and Jude Bellingham, which, if you’ve been paying attention at all, shouldn’t be unfamiliar. Let’s throw in eternal transfer target Declan Rice as well: those three should be headlining our midfield wishlist next summer.

Tchouaméni is an emerging star at AS Monaco, and one heavily endorsed by our old friend Cesc Fabregas, even. Chelsea (and others) were tenuously linked this summer, but apparently (as mentioned by The Athletic over a week ago and picked up by the Mail for a standalone story today) we opted to not make a move believing that another 12 months in the Principality could do the 21-year-old some good. And that’s probably the right move.

Similarly, Jude Bellingham is developing into as good great of a player as everyone has been expecting, with the 18-year-old already a first-team regular for Borussia Dortmund and with 8 senior caps to his name for England as well! Chelsea had been tracking the former Birmingham City youngster for some time now, and will surely be in for his signature — and so will be everyone else — if and when he decides it’s time to return to England from the Bundesliga finishing school.

And there’s of course Declan Rice, always and forever, still valued at £100m because West Ham are doing well these days. Rice seems to be setting up some big drama for the coming summer by already making it clear that he’s not signing another new contract with the Hammers, so those who might want him (i.e. Chelsea, both Manchesters, Liverpool, too?), it’s time to start saving up.

In any case, whether it’s those three or other names — though not Eduardo Camavinga, since Real Madrid stole a march on everyone else by signing him on deadline day for €30m — Chelsea’s midfield will be due a refresh soon.

N’Golo Kanté’s not getting any younger and is unfortunately no longer indestructible. Jorginho is about to turn 30 and is into the last two years of his current contract, with Italy always beckoning. Mateo Kovacic is in his prime years and set for a while yet, so we’re good there, but unless Saul Niguez follows Kova’s example and turns his loan into a transfer, he will need replacing next season.

Of course, we have plenty of talent out on loan as well, including most notably Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher, so external signings are not the only options that can be, or should be, considered.

But first, football!