Premier League • England

Chelsea concerns over midfield pair to prompt £43m January splash for star who’s got the green light

Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez

Chelsea will open the chequebook again come January and concerns over two prominent midfielders will likely see them move for Ajax ace Edson Alvarez, per a report.

The Blues lodged several failed bids to bolster their midfield ranks as the summer window drew to a close. A £43m bid for Edson Alvarez was knocked back with Ajax refusing to budge. Chelsea also tabled a surprise £50m bid for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia despite only joining from Man City earlier in the same window.

When those avenues ended in defeat, Thomas Tuchel drafted in Denis Zakaria from Juventus on loan.

Chelsea reportedly hold an option to buy the Swiss international for around £26m. However, his arrival is unlikely to impede their January spending.

That’s according to the Evening Standard who state the club’s new owners are ready to loosen the purse strings again in four months’ time.

24-year-old Mexico international Alvarez is deemed their ‘preferred option’ in midfield. There had been speculation Zakaria’s arrival would temper their January spending, though that doesn’t appear to be the case.

In further good news for Blues fans, Ajax have seemingly given Alvarez the green light to leave in the next window.

The versatile holding midfielder made Ajax aware of his desire to leave late in the window. However, the Dutch club stood firm having lost so many of the finest assets already.

But according to De Telegraaf, Alvarez will be granted his wish mid-season instead.

They reported Ajax are ‘open’ to a winter sale and given Chelsea have already bid once and remain interested, a deal looks there for the making at the second time of asking.

Midfield concerns sparking Edson Alvarez push?

Detailing why Chelsea will continue to revamp their midfield, the Evening Standard highlight concerns over N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

That pair – along with Mateo Kovacic – have been everything Thomas Tuchel could’ve asked for and more since he took charge.

However, Jorginho (30) and Kante (31) and both the wrong side of 30 and have also entered the final years of their contracts.

The Standard claim Chelsea harbour concerns Jorginho is running down his contract and could leave for free when it expires.

Tuchel wishes to retain Kante and offer the Frenchman an extension. However, his injury issues are becoming a problem and they have reservations over his long-term viability.

That’s resulted in Tuchel reportedly asking Kante to ‘compromise’ on the terms he’s demanding for a new deal. He is the club’s second highest earner at present, though Reece James’ new deal may have just bumped him down to third.

Chelsea midfield in the midst of overhaul?

The Blues engine room is an area Tuchel and co are seeking to address.

They invested in youth this summer upon signing Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei. The teenage pair won’t make a huge impression in the first-team this season, though are clearly ones to watch in the future.

They’re also working on a deal to sign Russia international Arsen Zakharyan. Chelsea came close to landing the rising star on deadline day. However, complications regarding all things Russian in the current climate scuppered a move.

On the exits front, Ross Barkley was released and has since been unveiled by French side Nice.

Billy Gilmour was sold to Brighton for £9m, while Conor Gallagher remains on Crystal Palace’s radar if he fails to make the grade at Stamford Bridge. A £20m January bid could be in the pipeline.