Premier League • England

Chelsea ‘tempting’ Osimhen alternative with Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen at risk of being torn apart

Bayer Leverkusen forward Victor Boniface celebrates a goal alongside a prominent Chelsea badge

Bayer Leverkusen's Victor Boniface is one of Chelsea's striker targets

Chelsea could make a move for Victor Boniface this summer with the Premier League’s big spenders reportedly “tempting” the Bayer Leverkusen forward.

Despite spending in excess of £1billion since Todd Boehly’s takeover in the summer of 2022, Chelsea are struggling for progress on the pitch and currently sit 10th in the Premier League table, 14 points adrift of the Champions League qualification spots.

The Blues have scored just 42 goals so far this season – with only West Ham United (36) and Manchester United (35) scoring fewer among the clubs inside the top 10 – with the forward line a clear area of improvement for Mauricio Pochettino’s youthful side.

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Despite registering seven goals and three assists in the league this season, Nicolas Jackson has largely struggled to convince since arriving from Villarreal last June, while fellow summer signing Christopher Nkunku has been limited to just seven appearances due to injury.

Chelsea youth product Armando Broja also failed to make the position his own, scoring just one league goal in the first half of this season before being loaned to local rivals Fulham for the remainder of the campaign.

Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for Napoli forward Victor Osimhen over recent months, with TEAMtalk reporting earlier on Wednesday that the Blues are leading Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign the Nigerian.

Chelsea targeting Osimhen’s Nigeria team-mate Victor Boniface

TEAMtalk revealed last week that the club have been working tirelessly over a summer move for key target Osimhen, having already held talks with his representatives and called upon legends John Obi Mikel and Didier Drobga – Osimhen’s boyhood idol – to persuade him to join Chelsea.

However, Chelsea’s reluctance to pay their players in excess of £150,000 per week is seen as a major obstacle to the club’s hopes of landing Osimhen, whose Napoli contract contains a £111million release clause.

With Boehly and Clearlake Capital under pressure to stay within the Premier League’s financial regulations, German publication sportBILD has claimed Chelsea are also monitoring Osimhen’s international team-mate Boniface, who has emerged as one of the stars of the season in Germany.

Boniface has registered 14 goals and nine assists in 21 appearances in all competitions this term, with Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen establishing a healthy eight-point lead over Bayern Munich, winners of the last 11 Bundesliga titles stretching back to 2013.

The report claims Chelsea are “tempting” Boniface into a summer move, but are likely to face a number of obstacles in their attempts to sign the 23-year-old.

Having signed Boniface from Belgian club Union SG in a €20.5m deal last summer, Leverkusen are said to be uninterested in selling the forward with his current valuation of €40 viewed as the starting point for any negotiation.

With Boniface’s current contract due to run until the summer of 2028, Leverkusen are under no pressure to sell, putting the onus on Chelsea to lodge an offer too good to turn down.

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