Premier League • England

Pochettino ecstatic with Chelsea on brink of £68m striker deal as Boehly’s dream new-look front four becomes a reality

Mauricio Pochettino during his Chelsea unveiling press conference

Mauricio Pochettino during his Chelsea unveiling press conference

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Dusan Vlahovic after reports in Italy provided a positive update on the progress of the deal.

The Blues have put their trust in Mauricio Pochettino to restore order at Stamford Bridge. Co-owner Todd Boehly has shown a real willingness to invest in the club, spending around £600m on new players. However, his management of the club from the top has so far left a lot to be desired with Chelsea enduring their worst season in living memory.

Indeed, in finishing 12th, the Blues finished just 10 points clear of the bottom three and a massive 45 points shy of the top.

And many feel that gaping chasm to Manchester City was self-created by Boehly’s ineptitude.

Now the American is hoping to learn some rapid lessons. In Pochettino, he is now working with the fourth manager already of his year-long tenure.

And they have set about reducing the stupidly-bloated numbers in their squad by allowing a plethora of big names to depart. To that end, eight players have already left, with Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek among the bg names to leave.

More could soon follow too with talks progressing over exits for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech. And the future of Romelu Lukaku also remains shrouded in doubt.

We exclusively revealed that another striker in Armando Broja is also pushing to leave Stamford Bridge.

As a result, the Chelsea XI in 2023/24 will look very different to the one that started last. Indeed, the Blues currently have just three surviving starters from their side that lifted the 2021 Champions League.

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Chelsea progress in talks with Dusan Vlahovic

Those exits have allowed Chelsea to quickly and effectively rebuild their side.

And the main focus of Boehly and Pochettino’s thinking has been to provide their attack with a more potent attacking threat.

Indeed, deals for Nicolas Jackson (£30m from Villarreal) and Christopher Nkunku (£50m from RB Leipzig) have already gone through.

However, they still lack that attacking spearhead to lead the line and bring others into play. Lukaku could fulfil that need, but it seems the Belgian is hell-bent on returning to Inter Milan.

And in his place, Chelsea have held talks over a deal to sign Juventus striker Vlahovic.

The Bianconeri are willing to cash in on the towering Serbian striker after just 18 months. He has scored 23 goals in 63 appearances for Juve since a move from Fiorentina.

However, after missing out on UCL football, Juventus are willing to move the 6ft 3in frontman on.

Talks with Chelsea have been ongoing for some time, and now il Gazzetta dello Sport claims an agreement is closing in.

He will cost the Blues a fee of €80m (£68.3m) – pretty much the same fee Juve paid La Viola in January 2022.

And there is seemingly a belief a deal will soon be struck to bring Vlahovic to Stamford Bridge.

Operating as the No 9, Pochettino and Boehly plan to play Nkunku in behind as the No 10. And with Jackson on one wing, Noni Madueke – one of Chelsea’s few transfer successes so far – and Mykhaylo Mudryk offer options on the other flank.

And Pochettino hopes that new-look front four can help restore Chelsea into a position to challenge for trophies again.

Chelsea told why Vlahovic is good value

Providing an update on their pursuit of Vlahovic, journalist Dean Jones says talks between Juventus and Chelsea are ready to accelerate.

“Juve are preparing for new contact around Vlahovic to land in the coming days,” he told Givemesport. “I’m hearing that there are several conversations planned between different Premier League clubs and Juve over a few players, and it is thought that in one of these Chelsea will look to discover more information about the availability of Vlahovic.

“They touched base about five weeks ago or so over this so already have a general understanding.”

Furthermore, Jones has explained why Vlahovic’s fee – even at touching £70m – is seen as good value by Chelsea.

“If Vlahovic is going to leave, then those conversations need to open up now. The value attached to him is still around £70m. But, as I have said before, that could be very good value for a striker as good as this. This is an outstanding opportunity to sign one of the most clinical finishers in the game. He’s up for grabs if they are willing to pay.”

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