A Chelsea target also on Newcastle and Atletico Madrid’s radars has hinted when his future will come to a head, though Fabrizio Romano has revealed why a deal will be harder to make than first thought.
Graham Potter’s switch from Brighton to Chelsea already has the feel of an inspired move. Questions were asked as to whether the Stamford Bridge gig would prove to big for Potter. However, if the early signs are anything to go by, Potter will do just fine.
Chelsea are unbeaten in his first six matches in charge, winning five and drawing one.
They’ve kept four clean sheets in a row, with their latest against Aston Villa owing much to a revitalised Kepa Arrizalabaga.
Potter has an expensively-assembled squad at his disposal with quality options available all across the pitch. However, Chelsea’s new owners are unlikely to close their chequebook any time soon.
Indeed, a move for RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku is expected in 2023. The explosive French attacker has already undertaken a secret medical in Frankfurt way back in August.
He’s not the only attacker on the Blues’ radar, however, with Brighton’s Leandro Trossard also linked.
The Belgium international, 27, is the embodiment of versatility. Indeed, he can operate on either wing, as a second striker, at No 10 or at wing-back.
That versatility was utilised to its fullest potential by his former boss and current Chelsea manager Graham Potter at the AMEX.
The connection is an obvious one and Trossard recently claimed he’d be on board with joining Chelsea if the opportunity arose.
Trossard open to joining Chelsea; hints at transfer timeframe
“We have had a very good start with Brighton,” said Trossard in late-September.
“I have evolved enormously, I now know how Premier League works. I grew a lot in that. Confidence, mentally, physically… I have gotten better and I’ve mastered the tricks now.
“Our coach has now left for Chelsea, but speculations about me following him is pointless.
“If the opportunity arises, I want to go. But I do want to play and not sit on the [bench].”
Nearly one month on, Trossard has set a timeframe on his future.
The attacker is likely to be a part of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad in Qatar. Trossard was asked about the transfer links to Chelsea and insisted his situation could become clearer after the World Cup.
“It’s very difficult to answer that. That will have to wait until [after the World Cup],” the Belgian responded.
“I’m not on it at all right now. Brighton and the World Cup are the next goals. Afterwards, we’ll see where it ends.”
Brighton hold the power
Trossard’s deal with the Seagulls expires in 2023. That is a factor initially thought to be aiding any Chelsea pursuit if Trossard refuses to extend his stay.
Indeed, if he doesn’t pen fresh terms, the January window would’ve represented Brighton’s last opportunity to cash in.
However, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Brighton have more power than first thought.
The trusted journalist tweeted Brighton hold a one-year option that can extend Trossard’s stay until the summer of 2024.
As such, there’ll be no cut-price deal to be made in January, and Chelsea – along with all other suitors – may wind up having to wait until 2024 to sign Trossard.