Romagnoli with options open as Chelsea join throng for summer free agent defender

Alessio Romagnoli, Ciro Immobile

Chelsea are among three top clubs said to be targeting Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli when he becomes a free agent this summer.

The Blues will be in the market for defensive reinforcements in the off-season. Antonio Rudiger is off to Real Madrid when his contract expires, leaving a huge void in the Stamford Bridge side’s backline. The Germany international has made 52 appearances in all competitions for the west Londoners this term.

But a failure to secure him on new terms means the talented stopper will ply his trade at the Bernabeu. Andreas Christensen is also likely to leave Chelsea and so Thomas Tuchel knows he must bring in new faces to bolster the rearguard.

Romagnoli, 27, has been with Milan since the summer of 2015. The Rossoneri paid Roma €25m for the Italy international and have certainly got their money’s worth.

He has made 246 appearances in all competitions for the Italian giants, chipping in with 10 goals. And it could be that the former Sampdoria loan star ends his stay on a high.

Milan sit top of the Serie A standings, two points clear of rivals Inter with one game to play. A win or draw at Sassuolo on Sunday will see the San Siro outfit secure their first league title since 2010-2011.

Romagnoli will then make his exit, with Lazio heavily linked to the star. But the Blues interest may turn his head while other clubs are also thought to be keen.

Multiple clubs have eyes on Romagnoli

Romagnoli has been linked with many clubs during the season when it became clear he would not be penning a new deal with Milan.

Tottenham and Everton were mentioned in connection with the centre-back last October. And Fulham joined the race in March even before their return to the Premier League was confirmed.

Newcastle have been linked with so many players since the takeover it is easy to lose count of their targets. And Romagnoli is another player supposedly on Eddie Howe’s wish-list.

However, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo state Bayern Munich, Sevilla and even Barcelona have him in their sights. Milan are said to have put a contract of €3m net per season on the table for the man with 12 Azzurri caps.

He has rejected that and is likely to receive far more substantial offers from his list of big-name suitors. There is no question that Tuchel will bring in a new central defender in the summer.

Thomas Tuchel, Man Utd v Chelsea April 2022

And the prospect of landing an international for free will certainly appeal to the German tactician.

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