Chelsea gearing up for late rival hijack after sneaky decision on £40m Prem attacker

Brennan Johnson, Chris Wood, Nottingham Forest, August 2023

Brennan Johnson and Chris Wood celebrate goal

It’s reportedly believed that Chelsea will move late in the window for Brennan Johnson, as rivals Tottenham have yet to agree a fee despite interest.

As with both transfer windows last season, the Blues have had a busy time this summer. Indeed, they shelled north of £500million across the whole of last term.

So far this summer, they’ve spent near to £350million, and there’s still potential for more moves.

Rayan Cherki, Folarin Balogun and former star Eden Hazard are a few of the names that could walk through the door at Stamford Bridge before the end of the window, according to reports.

Chelsea may have another man in mind, and that’ll involve hijacking a local rival.

That man is Nottingham Forest forward Johnson. The Blues have been linked with him over the past few weeks, after they missed out on Michael Olise, who decided to pen a new deal with Crystal Palace.

Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano reported that Mauricio Pochettino’s side ‘appreciate’ Johnson.

However, whether or not their interest was at any point more than that, Romano stated they were ‘not negotiating, and were ‘looking at other targets’.

Chelsea prepare to hijack Tottenham for Johnson

Tottenham sprung into action after that, and have been expected to make a bid after negotiating with Forest.

That they’ve not yet agreed on a price – Forest have been said to want £50million – may yet allow Chelsea a chance at the signing after all. Miguel Delaney reports they’re expected to hijack the deal late on.

“Tottenham Hotspur are still some way off agreeing on a fee for Brennan Johnson, as Nottingham Forest are not shifting from their £40m basic price for the forward,” he told the Independent.

“The stand-off could yet see Chelsea in late on, as they retain an interest in the 22-year-old.

“Chelsea are nowhere near so advanced, and haven’t got to that stage, as they survey potential attackers.

“The club are prioritising an out-and-out centre-forward but there are not too many obvious choices available, and there is a belief in the market they will move for Johnson late on in the window if his future is not yet agreed.”

Chelsea deploy smart tactics

Chelsea allowing Tottenham to essentially do all the negotiating so that they can learn the desired price and bid it themselves is a smart move.

They can save themselves time and just swoop at the end of negotiations. That may be why they weren’t actively attempting to sign Johnson previously, despite their interest.

It’s not dissimilar to their signing of Moises Caicedo. They failed to send Brighton an offer they were happy with, but once Liverpool had one of £110million accepted, Chelsea went back in and managed to get the signing done.

If it worked once, there’s no reason to suggest they can’t do a similar thing again.

READ MORE: Chelsea now in contact for crucial last-resort transfer as Fabrizio Romano reveals two key topics of negotiations