Premier League • England

Chelsea, Crystal Palace to battle for wantaway Serie A star; €35m required to tempt Mourinho into sale

Roma defenders Roger Ibanez and Chris Smalling in action

Roma defenders Roger Ibanez and Chris Smalling in action

Chelsea and Crystal Palace are set to battle for the signature of Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez this summer, according to reports.

The Brazilian defender is thought to be keen on a switch to the Premier League and has been linked with a move away from Roma for some time.

As a result, Ibanez has caught the attention of Chelsea and Crystal Palace, who are believed to be leading the race for his signature.

This is according to Italian outlet Siamo La Roma, who have assessed the chances of the centre-back making a move to London this summer.

The report claims that Roma have slapped a €35m (£30.4m) price tag on Ibanez. The 24-year-old has received interest from several clubs in England and Germany.

Last season, Ibanez made 48 appearances across all competitions for Roma. In the process, he helped his team to 15 clean sheets and scored two goals.

Chelsea and Crystal Palace are both looking to sign a new centre-back ahead of next season. So, it will be interesting to see if Jose Mourinho sanctions the sale of Ibanez in the next couple of weeks.

READ MORE: Chelsea cool interest in £77m Serie A star as Pochettino prioritises move for 19-goal Ligue 1 striker

Chelsea, Crystal Palace eye new centre-back

Chelsea received a hammer blow on Tuesday after it was revealed that Wesley Fofana had suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury that required surgery.

As a result, he will be unavailable for selection for the foreseeable future. Pochettino is now left with Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Trevor Chalobah and Benoit Badiashile as his centre-back options.

Badiashile is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, however, and hasn’t travelled to America for the Blues’ pre-season camp.

Chelsea could clearly do with a centre-back addition. Whether or not they will be willing to meet Roma’s €35m (£30.4m) price tag for Ibanez remains to be seen.

Crystal Palace, on the other hand, could lose one of their most important defenders this summer.

Indeed, Joachim Andersen is reportedly a target for Tottenham and Newcastle, who are both looking to bring in a new centre-back.

Andersen would be a huge loss for the Eagles. He made 33 Premier League appearances last term and is considered to be one of the best defenders in the division on his day.

With that in mind, we could see a bidding war take place for Ibanez this summer. So, it will be interesting to see which London club makes the first move in the race.

READ MORE: Pochettino fuming as West Ham accelerate double Chelsea raid; bigger deal ‘well advanced’