Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu is the subject of a ‘thrilling transfer duel’ between two clubs, according to a report.
The Wales international joined Chelsea from Exeter City in summer 2017. The Blues spent around £2.5million on Ampadu, despite him being just 16 years old at the time.
The centre-back, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, has gone on to play 12 times for Chelsea.
He spent time on loan with RB Leipzig, Sheffield United and Venezia in an attempt to gain more senior experience.
Ampadu made 29 appearances for Sheffield United during the 2020-21 campaign. However, he failed to impress Blades fans and couldn’t help the side avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The defender is back at Stamford Bridge after spending last term on loan with Venezia. But Thomas Tuchel doesn’t feel he is ready to challenge for a senior spot and is willing to sanction another temporary spell away from west London.
Chelsea began transfer talks with Serie A outfit Spezia in early August. But Sassuolo recently came in for Ampadu, creating a tussle between those teams.
Empoli have also been named as potential suitors for the player. But Corriere dello Sport, as cited by Sport Witness, provide an update and claim Empoli are targeting other defenders.
Teams in ‘thrilling transfer duel’ for Ethan Ampadu
That leaves Spezia and Sassuolo as the two clubs interested in capturing Ampadu. And this has become a ‘thrilling transfer duel’, the report claims.
Spezia and Sassuolo are now coming up with ways to get Todd Boehly’s attention and win the race for the 21-year-old. They both need to draw up favourable terms to get Chelsea to accept.
The battle for Ampadu’s signature could result in Spezia or Sassuolo paying all of Ampadu’s wages for the season. As per Salary Sport, he takes home £12,000 every seven days.
It’s unclear whether Chelsea will include an option to buy in Ampadu’s loan deal. He has two years remaining on his contract.
This means Ampadu could go out on loan to Spezia or Sassuolo and return to the Chelsea squad for next season. If he impresses, then Boehly might just reward him with fresh terms.
Chelsea have been searching for new centre-backs during the summer window. This is a direct result of them losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers.
The Blues have brought in Kalidou Koulibaly and want another defender to join, most likely Wesley Fofana.
While Ampadu is available, there is little chance Tuchel could end up using him this term. He lacks experience at a high level and is behind Trevoh Chalobah in the pecking order.
Incidentally, Ampadu could come up against Chalobah in Serie A this season. Reports suggest the Englishman is a target for Inter Milan and Roma.
Meanwhile, West Ham are ready to make a move for another Chelsea player after landing Emerson Palmieri, according to The Sun.