Chelsea are considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes after he previously worked with his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino, a report has claimed.
Back in the January transfer window, Chelsea broke the British transfer record to strengthen their midfield with the signing of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica. But they may not have imagined at the time just how much more work they would have to do on the position in the following months.
The likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount have all left the club this summer. Now, Chelsea need to find some suitable partners for Fernandez in midfield.
One of their top targets has been Moises Caicedo from Brighton, who has been the subject of two bids by the Blues. However, a high asking price has complicated negotiations and Brighton now expect to keep Caicedo beyond the closure of the summer transfer window.
Needing to find some fall-back options, Chelsea have turned their attention to Paredes, according to the Evening Standard.
Chelsea head coach Pochettino previously worked with Paredes in Paris. After his unsuccessful loan spell with Juventus last season, the 29-year-old is now set to be sold by PSG one year before his contract expires.
Although the report acknowledges Paredes does not fit in with Todd Boehly’s usual policy of signing players for the long term, Pochettino may recommend him because of a belief that he needs more experience in the engine room of his squad.
Paredes could link up with Fernandez
Paredes was part of the same Argentina squad as Fernandez that won the World Cup in December. Therefore, they could rekindle their connection at club level if Paredes comes to the Premier League for the first time.
His career so far has seen him represent Boca Juniors, Chievo, Roma, Empoli, Zenit, PSG and Juventus.
He has played in the Champions League with Roma, PSG and Juventus, but would have no European football on offer by joining Chelsea after they finished 12th in the Premier League last season.
There is some optimism that Pochettino will be able to inspire a new dawn at Stamford Bridge after taking the managerial reins, though.
Paredes is not the only PSG player whom Pochettino has been tipped to reunite with recently. There have been suggestions of an ambitious raid for Kylian Mbappe, although how realistic that would be to pull off remains up for question.