Chelsea preparing £45m bid to snatch Man Utd target and hatch plan to steer selling club’s thinking

Netherlands pair Cody Gakpo and Denzel Dumfries

Chelsea are readying a £45m bid to sign Man Utd target Denzel Dumfries in January, and why they could succeed where others have failed has been detailed by a report.

The Inter Milan and Netherlands star, 26, was linked with a move to the Premier League over the summer. Erik ten Hag generally signed those he had intimate knowledge of in his first window at the Man Utd helm.

He acquired Ajax pair Lisandro Martinez and Antony, while his Eredivisie knowledge convinced him to go for Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia.

All three of those players have made extremely encouraging starts to life at Old Trafford. Christian Eriksen is another to start brightly and the Dane had trained with Ten Hag’s Ajax during his recovery from heart complications at Euro 2020.

As such, it came as no surprise to see Netherlands international and ex-PSV Eindhoven star, Denzel Dumfries, emerge on United’s radar.

Ten Hag searched for a more attacking-minded upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka. However, other positions took precedence and when interest in Wan-Bissaka did not emerge, the right-back plans were shelved.

Dumfries operates either at right-back or as a wing-back. His five goals and five assists in 33 league matches last season showcased what he can do going forward.

Chelsea also took note and per Goal, saw a bid rejected by Inter Milan. However, new part owner, Todd Boehly, isn’t content to let the story end there.

Chelsea prepare Inter-friendly proposal

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport (via Goal), report Chelsea are ‘all set to make a €50m (approx. £45m) offer’ for Dumfries.

It’s claimed that bid will be lodged in January and Inter are highly unlikely to entertain a mid-season sale.

To get around that, Chelsea will reportedly offer to loan Dumfries back to Inter for the remainder of the season. He would then link up at Stamford Bridge next summer.

What Inter’s stance would be on that scenario isn’t stated. However, knowing six months in advanced Dumfries is leaving would give them ample opportunity to line up a replacement for the summer.

A bid of around £45m would also represent excellent business for Inter. Dumfries was signed to replace Achraf Hakimi in the summer of 2021 and cost just £10m from PSV.

A sale to Chelsea at the figures quoted could represent a £35m profit.

Denzel Dumfries could signal end for Chelsea star

The obvious question Chelsea fans might have is where would Dumfries play?

If Graham Potter picks up where Thomas Tuchel left off and deploys the back five, Reece James would still remain the undisputed No 1 right wing-back.

Given Dumfries is even more attack-minded than James, the England man would also be preferred as an orthodox right-back in a back four too.

However, the primary back-up to James in both roles right now is Cesar Azpilicueta. Tuchel occasionally utilised Ruben Loftus-Cheek at wing-back, though that’s far from his best position.

Azpilicueta was heavily linked with Barcelona throughout the summer. A return to Spain did not come to pass, however, with Azpilicueta eventually penning a two-year extension with the Blues.

However, at 33, Azpilicueta is at the back end of his career. Dumfries could represent his long-term replacement as chief competition to James.