Chelsea are reportedly preparing to submit a bid worth £43million including bonuses for Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes.
The Blues started the transfer window in slow fashion as Todd Boehly and his consortium finalised their takeover. Since then, though, they have looked to make additions in key areas of the pitch.
Defence has been the main issue for Blues boss Thomas Tuchel following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
Up front, Romelu Lukaku has returned to Inter on loan and Tuchel has eyes on Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling as a new signing.
However, Chelsea‘s midfield is one area they have so far not looked at – until now.
Indeed, A Bola in Portugal now reports that the Stamford Bridge club have locked onto a deal for Portugal international Nunez.
Chelsea are preparing an initial bid of €45million (£38.5million), with €5million in bonuses taking their offer to £43million overall.
Nunes has been on the radar of several Premier League clubs for a while, certainly in the past three transfer windows.
Last summer, Newcastle, Everton and Wolves all held an interest in the midfielder. In March this year, a report claimed that Manchester City were considering a move for him.
Earlier this summer, Wolves – who were already looking at Joao Palhinha from Sporting – had a fresh look at Nunes.
But with Palhinha going to Fulham instead and Chelsea now going after Nunes, the Molineux club could be left high and dry.
Nunes has risen through the Sporting academy ranks to become a key star for the club.
He made his Portuguese top-flight breakthrough after the first coronavirus lockdown in June 2020. And he finished last season with 99 appearances for Sporting under his belt.
Playing mainly as a central midfielder, Nunes can also play a more defensive role and has chipped in with seven Sporting goals and eight assists.
Having extended his contract in October 2021, his terms only run out in 2026, hence the sizeable price tag Chelsea are willing to pay.
Matheus Nunes could be Chelsea reinforcement
Chelsea have a growing issue in their midfield and Nunes could be an ideal addition to bolster Tuchel’s ranks.
The contracts of key midfielders Jorginho and N’Golo Kante expire next summer. While Jorginho’s agent has teed up renewal talks for September, there is no concrete word on Kante’s future.
What’s more, Mateo Kovacic’s deal runs out in 2024, the Croatian a third key cog in Tuchel’s team.
Chelsea tried unsuccessfully to bolster their ranks last summer with Saul Niguez. The Atletico Madrid loanee struggled to adapt to life at Chelsea and in the Premier League.
Chelsea facing big summer transfer window with further problems ahead
Chelsea’s new owners want to help Thomas Tuchel bolster his centre-back ranks, but there are bigger problems coming down the track for the club.
But given the success of recent Premier League acquisitions from the Portuguese league, the Blues may yet enjoy more success this time around with Nunes if they sign him.
Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, who also signed from Sporting, is the most comparable player to Nunes’ situation. Further forward, Luis Diaz has hit the ground running at Liverpool after leaving Porto in January.
At 23 years of age, Nunes could come in as an ideal new option for Tuchel and Chelsea this summer.