Selling club ‘braced for offers’ as Chelsea battle two Prem rivals for versatile ace

Edson Alvarez embraing Jurrien Timber

Chelsea are one of three Premier League clubs considering making a bid for Ajax defender or midfielder Edson Alvarez, according to a report.

Edson Alvarez can play as a holding midfielder or a centre-back, having done so far Ajax since joining them in 2019. The much-capped Mexico international could now be ready to take the next step in his career at the age of 24.

Football Insider are reporting that Alvarez is being watched by the Premier League trio of Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

Now, Ajax are expecting offers for the defensive midfielder, although they would prefer to keep him. His contract there runs until 2025.

Any of his three Premier League admirers may have different plans for him. In Chelsea’s case, Alvarez could help replenish their defensive department.

Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract in the summer. Should any of those defenders leave, they will need to be replaced.

In contrast, the Blues are fairly well-stocked in midfield. There, they can rely on the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

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But Palace or Leicester may be more likely to use Alvarez in the centre of the park, where the majority of his appearances have come this season.

The report claims Alvarez could take the place in the Palace squad of Conor Gallagher after his loan spell from Chelsea ends, even though the Englishman is a more attacking type of midfielder.

And they remind that in Leicester’s case, summer signing Boubakary Soumare has not blown them away yet and could be upgraded upon.

Ajax anxiously awaiting January offers for Edson Alvarez

Edson Alvarez during a warm up for Ajax

With those factors in mind, it is possible that any of the three clubs could make a move for Alvarez before the January transfer window closes.

Since Ajax want to keep the player, there is no mention of a possible price tag.

He cost them €15m when joining from Mexican club America two-and-a-half years ago. It is likely the experience he has amassed in Europe since – plus his lengthy contract – will have enhanced his value.

Alvarez has played 84 times for Ajax in total, including 22 appearances this season. It remains to be seen where he will be ending it.

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Chelsea make defender decision

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel has made a call over a proposed Chelsea move that had attracted the attention of West Ham, Leicester, Newcastle and Everton, per a report.

Chelsea’s squad has been stretched to breaking point over the last six weeks. Injuries and Covid absences have hit hard, and Chelsea’s own success has ensured their fixture list is packed.

As such, Tuchel has utilised the full breadth of their squad, including a string of appearances for Malang Sarr.

The 22-year-old featured in Chelsea’s EFL Cup quarter final and semi-final clashes. He also started in the crunch league clash with Man City, and despite emerging on the losing end, put in a solid individual display.

It has been a remarkable upswing in fortune for the Frenchman who was Tuchel’s sixth-choice centre-half when the season began.

However, his impressive displays and ability to also operate at left-back has seen him attract attention from wannabe suitors.

Foot Mercato reveal the Foxes, Magpies, Toffees and Hammers are all seeking his signature this month.

A loan deal is the only possible route, while Jose Mourinho’s Roma are also keen admirers. AC Milan too have been linked after Simon Kjaer suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

However, Foot Mercato state Tuchel has ‘decided’ against sanctioning a loan exit this month.

The promise of more regular minutes elsewhere could benefit Sarr in the short term and Chelsea in the long term. However, with Covid absences a constant threat, Tuchel is unwilling to deplete his options.

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