Premier League • England

Maresca names four signings to transform Chelsea as ruthless Boehly puts NINE up for sale

Enzo Maresca wants Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville to sign for Chelsea

Enzo Maresca wants Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville to sign for Chelsea

Incoming new Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca has told Todd Boehly of the four signings he believes the club needs to propel the Blues back into the top four, with brilliant Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville seemingly right at the top of his wanted list.

The Blues are preparing for what appears another summer of upheaval with Italian coach Maresca agreeing a deal at Stamford Bridge taking him through to the summer of 2029. And while Boehly has placed a contract release clause in the deal that will limit his pay-out to just one season, Chelsea believe they have landed a strong, progressive coach who can help take the club to the next level.

While the axing of Mauricio Pochettino will have come as a shock to some – though readers of TEAMtalk will have known the axe was likely to fall given Blues co-owner Behdad Eghbali’s belief that, despite a top-six finish and a cup final appearance, Pochettino had largely failed to deliver what was expected of him – the club has at least acted quickly to land on his replacement.

While Maresca impressed both Boehly and Eghbali in his interview, making clear his vision for the Blues going forwards, the role of the Italian will be primarily first-team matters, with Chelsea’s transfer policy still very much in the hands of those above him.

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Maresca, though, will of course be consulted over potential deals and it’s understood that he has recommended four signings this summer to further strengthen their squad and help take them to the next level.

To that end, the Italian would ideally like to land a new goalkeeper, a new centre-half, a winger and a striker.

Chelsea transfers: Crysencio Summerville is a top target

To kick things off, Maresca has recommended Chelsea make a move to sign the EFL’s Player of the year, Summerville, who enjoyed a stellar season under Daniel Farke at Leeds United.

The winger scored 21 goals and added 10 assists, making him the first Leeds player since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 1998/99 to reach double figures in both G/A columns.

Ultimately though, Leeds’ quest to win promotion back to the Premier League ended in failure, despite accruing 90 points – the highest tally not to secure automatic promotion in the second tier since Sunderland reached the same figure in the 1997/98 season – and then tasting a bitter defeat in Sunday’s play-off final following a 1-0 loss to Southampton.

As a result, and with financial obligations to meet, Leeds will likely need to consider a couple of high-profile sales this summer with Summerville seen as one of their biggest assets.

Despite their failure to secure promotion, Leeds still hope to fetch a fee in the region of £30m for the Dutch winger. And with TEAMtalk breaking the news earlier this year that Summerville was on Chelsea’s radar, we understand the Blues will strongly try and push through a deal for the 22-year-old this summer.

Maresca wants another option on the wing -potentially to replace Raheem Sterling, whom the Blues are actively trying to move on – and the Leeds man strongly fits their transfer ethos.

Fulham star agrees Chelsea move

In addition, Maresca has also recommended Chelsea make three other signings this summer to strengthen in goals, in the centre of their defence and in attack.

The good news for the Blues is that the first of those is rapidly accelarating after Chelsea leapfrogged Newcastle in the race to sign Tosin Adarabioyo.

The Fulham man has proven himself an outstanding centre-half after moving to Craven Cottage from Manchester City in summer 2020. However, with his four-year deal coming to an end, the 26-year-old is eligible to make a free transfer switch elsewhere this summer.

Having held talks with Newcastle, Adarabioyo had agreed terms with the Magpies, but had asked for him before putting pen to paper on the deal.

Now sources close to the player have revealed to TEAMtalk that Adarabioyo has said ‘yes’ to joining Chelsea and completing the short move across south-west London to Stamford Bridge.

Seen as the perfect successor to Thiago Silva, who left to join Fluminense, the move is not yet cut and dried with Newcastle still fighting to get the deal done themselves. However, Adarabioyo’s preference is understood to be Chelsea, making them the favourites now to seal his signature.

Striker and goalkeeper also wanted by Maresca

With cash saved from the capture of Adarabioyo, Chelsea will feel more confident to spent big money on a new centre-forward this summer and with two names coming to the fore in recent days.

We understand that Maresca has recommended a move to sign RB Leipzig forward Benjamin Sesko, whose agent has been in England in recent months to try and negotiate a deal for his client.

With a €65m (£55.4m) exit clause in his deal, Leipzig face a difficult task of retaining the 20-year-old’s services, with Arsenal also very much in the hunt.

However, TEAMtalk understands that Chelsea’s preference remains Victor Osimhen and the Blues hierarchy are not closing the door on the deal for the powerful Napoli striker if they can balance the books by making a number of sales first.

The Nigerian has a €120m (£102m) exit clause in his deal and the Serie A outfit are refusing to negotiate on the fee, giving Chelsea a tall price to meet if they are to seal a deal.

Nonetheless, he is very much on their radar still and Boehly sees his signing as a potential missing piece in the jigsaw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues also want a new goalkeeper and are currently mulling over three options in Villarreal’s Filip Jorgensen, Georgi Mamardashvilli, who plays for Valencia and Porto stopper Diogo Costa.

Of the three, Maresca is more keen on Jorgensen given his ability with the ball at his feet.

Boehly tells nine players to leave Chelsea

Failure to qualify for the Champions League means Chelsea, though, will have to move players on this summer in order to stay within the Premier League’s strict FFP remits.

And with the Blues big fans of selling on homegrown players, given their sales are seen as ‘pure profit’, Boehly is still actively keen to move on Conor Gallagher this summer.

Indeed, that decision to try and move the England man on did not sit well with Pochettino, who very much relied on the midfielder throughout the season just gone.

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With Gallagher wearing the armband on a number of occasions too – owing to long absences of Ben Chilwell and Reece James – his exit would certainly be a controversial one. However, with a £50m price on his head, Chelsea will likely see such an offer as too good to turn down and his sale remains likely this summer.

He won’t be the only homegrown star to leave, however, with Trevoh Chalobah, Ian Maatsen, Armando Broja and Omari Hutchison – the latter of whom is the subject of a £20m offer from Ipswich – also set to move on.

Sterling, as reported, is another one the Blues wish to move on; his giant £340,000 a week package proving a drain on resources.

In addition, Boehly will also clear the path for Roma loanee Romelu Lukaku, Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was Real Madrid’s third-choice keeper, and Malang Sarr – not even given a squad number last season – permission to move on.