Premier League • England

Chelsea spot ideal signing which has trio of benefits for Tuchel and could wrap up deal

Ivan Perisic celebrates his goal against Salernitana for Inter Milan, December 2021

Chelsea have reportedly spotted an ideal signing which has a trio of benefits for Thomas Tuchel, and could soon wrap up a deal.

The Blues boss has been significantly successful since his Stamford Bridge arrival. But he is currently enduring a tough patch in the Premier League. Defeat to Manchester City on Saturday may have ended their title hopes.

Tuchel has had to deal with several injury issues in recent weeks. Losing both influential full-backs Reece James and Ben Chiwell was a cruel twist of fate.

James will be back in a few weeks, but Chilwell is now out for the season, so Chelsea have been scrambling for a left-sided defender in the transfer market.

And they may now have found one. That’s because according to The Mirror, Inter Milan and Croatia star Ivan Perisic has emerged as a potential target.

Perisic, 32, has played in every attacking position during his career. But this season he has been operating at left wing-back in Serie A.

He would therefore be able to come in and work alongside Marcos Alonso in the position.

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Not only that, but both Arsenal and Tottenham have shown an interest in him. Therefore, the Blues would be beating their London rivals to a target.

And what’s more, Perisic is out of contract at the end of the season so will be available on the cheap.

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Inter are open to offers in the January transfer window. They’d be happier selling for a fee now than seeing him walk away for nothing in the summer.

Perisic is said to still be open to signing a new deal with the Nerazzuri. But he would also pick Chelsea as his next destination.

The Italian club’s President Steven Zhang has reportedly sanctioned the signing of a back-up for Perisic. So it seems Chelsea could wrap up a deal soon.

Chelsea sell long-serving star

Lewis Baker, Omari Hutchinson Arsenal Under-21s v Chelsea Under-21s January 2022

Meanwhile, Stoke City have confirmed the signing of Lewis Baker on a permanent deal, following a series of loan spells for the former Chelsea midfielder.

Baker has ended his 16-year association with the Blues, which saw him make only two first-team appearances. The first of those came after his initial breakthrough in 2014. However, the other arrived only this month – again in the FA Cup.

In between, the 26-year-old has gone on eight loan spells. While he has had moves in England with Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday among others, he has also gone abroad.

In fact, his last move took him to Turkey but he has now returned to the Championship with Stoke. And this time, it is on a permanent two-and-a-half-year deal.

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