Three Premier League sides are exploring a deal to sign Chelsea centre-half, Levi Colwill, and a report claims his exit could accelerate if Nathan Ake arrives.
Thomas Tuchel has already lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen from his defensive ranks. Rudiger in particular will be missed after the German played the best football of his career during Tuchel’s time in charge.
Rudiger made the left-sided centre-back position in a back three his own. That was despite being right-footed.
Finding a specialist to fill the void is one of Chelsea’s key aims this summer. The player they’ve seemingly settled on in that regard is Man City’s Nathan Ake.
The 27-year-old Dutchman could be available for transfer after failing to displace the likes of Aymeric Laporte at the Etihad.
The Telegraph reported Blues owner Todd Boehly is currently in negotiations with City regarding both Ake and Raheem Sterling. The pair are both deemed open to joining Chelsea.
That move has the feel of one that is easily achievable, though he’s unlikely to be the only centre-back signed.
The Guardian note Matthijs de Ligt, Jules Kounde and Kalidou Koulibaly are also on their radar. But should Ake be the first domino to fall, current Blues defender, Levi Colwill, could make way.
Ake, Colwill futures intertwined
The 19-year-old excelled on loan with Huddersfield Town last year. He scored an unfortunate own goal in the play-off final, though his overall body of work was impressive.
As a left-footer, he would be a back-up option for Tuchel if a new left-sided centre-half eluded him. But with Ake talks ramping up, the Sun reckon Colwill will be allowed to leave if a breakthrough with City is made.
Chasing Colwill’s signature are Leicester City and Southampton. That’s according to both the Sun and Guardian, while the latter outlet also put Crystal Palace in the mix earlier this week.
Southampton have a recent history of signing Chelsea prospects. They landed both Tino Livramento and Dynel Simeu on permanent deals last summer. They also took Armando Broja on loan.
Leicester, meanwhile, are claimed to have been tracking Colwill for some time. They reportedly sought to sign the youngster on loan in January, though Chelsea were unwilling to rip up their pre-existing agreement with Huddersfield.
Levi Colwill worth a gamble?
The defender enhanced his reputation with the Terriers last season and buying clubs have enjoyed a great deal of success when landing players developed by Chelsea in recent times.
Livramento immediately established himself in the Saints team last year, notching 27 league appearances. Marc Guehi formed a solid partnership with Joachim Andersen at Palace, with his fine displays resulting in a senior England debut.
Fikayo Tomori has been a revelation at AC Milan. Broja brought a new dimension to the Saints forward line while on loan. Conor Gallagher followed a similar path to Guehi while on loan with the Eagles.
Clearly, Chelsea are excelling at developing their players and Colwill may be the latest to show his true worth at another club.