Premier League • England

Chelsea ditch transfer policy in order to hijack Man Utd move for star centre-back

Jonathan Tah, Bayer Leverkusen, 2023

Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah alongside Chelsea, Manchester United badges

Chelsea are reportedly interested in Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah, according to Christian Falk, despite the defender not fitting their transfer policy.

Under the watch of chairman Todd Boehly, the Blues have tended to prioritise signing players 25 years old or under. In the summer, they signed three 25-year-olds, and a lot of their other recruits were on the other end of the scale.

Diego Moreira, Deivid Washington, Angelo, Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Lavia are all yet to even turn 20.

Chelsea are clearly hopeful some of those players will develop into stars at the club, and that could see their fortunes turn for the better.

That’s something that needs to happen, with the Blues in the midst of their worst period for a long time.

Indeed, they finished 12th in the Premier League last season, and are struggling again this term, currently finding themselves 10th.

Boehly has not been shy in terms of recruitment, having already spent over £1billion in three windows, so it’s likely that will continue in January.

Reports of late have suggested Chelsea could stray away from their under-25 policy given they’re in the face of struggle. That seems to be the case with their fresh interest in Leverkusen centre-back Tah.

Chelsea want Tah as Silva replacement

Indeed, transfer insider Falk reports the Blues are interested in the Bayer Leverkusen man. He’s 27 years old, so past the age the club would usually go for, but has impressed for a long time in the Bundesliga.

It’s little surprise, then, that Chelsea believe he ‘could be the successor of Thiago Silva’.

The Brazilian has played the third-most minutes of any player for the Londoners this season, with centre-back partner Axel Disasi beating him for second by just over an hour.

However, Silva is 39 years of age and his current contract is set to run out at the end of the season. That said, Chelsea will want to ensure they’ve got somebody in place to do the stellar job he’s done for the past four seasons.

Falk has also stated Tah has a release clause, though does not state what the value of the clause is.

Man Utd giving Blues competition

In any case, if the Blues are to complete the signing of the centre-back, they may have to hijack a Manchester United move.

Indeed, Tah has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford of late, with the club also looking for a top central defender to join their ranks.

While Fabrizio Romano has stated he has not heard anything on that interest, he detailed how the Red Devils are “likely to target a centre-back as a priority” in 2024.

It’s also said Tah is seen as a better fit for United than another centre-back target, Jean-Clair Todibo.

With that said, Chelsea might have to push hard if they’re to beat United to Tah’s signature, particularly in terms of personal terms, given either side could trigger his release clause, depending on what it is.

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