Premier League • England

Next big Chelsea signing revealed with Blues ‘very probable’ winners of €40m transfer battle

Denzel Dumfries and Alexis Mac Allister

Chelsea have been named as the likely winners of a transfer battle for an in-demand wing-back who can finally ease the burden on Reece James.

James is currently the main right-back at Chelsea’s disposal and he is certainly a good one. The problem is the unreliable injury record he has developed over the past couple of years. It is clear by now that Chelsea need extra cover for him.

After all, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is more accustomed to a more central defensive role in a formation with a back three. Besides, the Spaniard has once again been linked with a departure at the end of the season.

Hence, Chelsea are scouring the market for alternatives to James. One name that keeps appearing on their shortlists is Denzel Dumfries.

Currently with Inter Milan, Dumfries has scored twice from 25 appearances in all competitions this season, also supplying three assists.

However, there is a feeling that Inter would be willing to sacrifice him in the summer. According to Inter Live, the club need to raise €60million (£53.5m) by selling players this year.

Dumfries is someone they are hoping to gain €40m (£35.7m) from. After already generating plenty of interest while on display at the World Cup with the Netherlands, Dumfries has several suitors.

The report claims it is “very probable” that Chelsea will make the biggest bid for Dumfries. In turn, they could beat the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich to his signature.

Chelsea have been a force to be reckoned with in the transfer market in the Todd Boehly era so far. They spent heavily last summer and followed it up in January.

Along the way, they have beaten several rivals to players they wanted. Thus, other admirers of Dumfries will be wary of them.

Would Denzel Dumfries solve Chelsea dilemma or add to it?

One caveat could be the fact that Chelsea already invested in a right-back during January. One of the several players they signed was Malo Gusto, although they have allowed him to remain on loan with Lyon until the end of the season.

But in the summer, Gusto will be expecting to begin competing for a place in Chelsea’s lineup. With James still on the books too, their need for Dumfries as well would be questionable.

Yet Chelsea seem to have been stockpiling players in all positions. Thus, it can’t be ruled out that they will try to prevent Dumfries ending up at anyone’s disposal other than their own.

For example, interest from Man Utd could be a particular threat for Chelsea. Their Premier League rivals are above them in the table at present and the Blues obviously want to cut that gap rather than risk widening it.

Man Utd need a new right-back in case they lose either Diogo Dalot or Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The former is in a delicate contract situation and the latter has been inconsistent in recent months.

In theory, they might have a greater need for Dumfries if one of their current options leaves. But Chelsea might want to stand in their way and boost their own squad as a result.

After all, Gusto could just be an investment for the future who might not be ready next season either. Dumfries is more established and could take a move to Stamford Bridge in his stride.

It would be a tricky balancing act between him and James, but when the current first-choice has missed 16 games through injury this season alone, it might make sense to bring in someone of Dumfries’ stature to fill the void.

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