Premier League • England

Chelsea not alone with Serie A talisman interest, as ‘several’ Premier League rivals look to spoil party

Stanislav Lobotka, Steven Berghuis, October 2022

Chelsea have Premier League transfer rivals for Napoli midfielder Stanislav Lobotka, according to a report which has offered the latest on his contract.

The Blues added two exciting future stars to their engine room this summer. Carney Chukwuemeka has made his top-flight debut for his new club after leaving Aston Villa, while Cesare Casadei is starring in the academy ranks.

Chelsea also signed Denis Zakaria on loan from Juventus on transfer deadline day. That deal came following a failed bid for Ajax’s Edson Alvarez.

But, the Stamford Bridge club have pressing concerns in their first-team ranks. N’Golo Kante is likely to miss France’s World Cup campaign because of a hamstring injury. He and Jorginho are in the final year of their contracts and it remains unclear if they will renew.

Chelsea are consequently looking at beefing up their midfield with fresh signings.

And recent reports have revealed how Napoli star Lobotka is on their radar. The 27-year-old Slovakian’s contract expires in 2025, so there will soon be a discussion to be had over his future.

Calciomercato has cemented previous claims that Chelsea have been in touch with Lobotka’s entourage.

However, the latest report adds that ‘several’ Premier League clubs – although unnamed in the piece – are also watching the player.

Lobotka in Napoli contract talks

Napoli are in fact deep into discussions over Lobotka’s future.

In the last meeting they held with the player’s camp, the Serie A high-flyers offered a four or five year contract worth an initial €2.5million (£2.1million) per season, rising to €3million (£2.6million) with bonuses.

And Lobotka and his representatives have no problems with those terms.

The new contract for the midfielder is therefore a matter of time and all parties have ‘great confidence’ in the deal going through.

The report adds that Napoli are also trying to tie Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Mario Rui to new terms.

Chelsea unlikely to sign Slovakian star

As it stands, Chelsea look unlikely to sign 41-cap international Lobotka.

All parties seem happy with the player’s progress and the fact that Napoli are flying in both Serie A and the Champions League will only help his cause.

Chelsea, though, do need to get a new midfielder in in the next two transfer windows.

They may yet sign Kante and Jorginho to new contracts, but they are nevertheless ageing options for the Blues.

It is the one area in which Chelsea perhaps could have done better this summer, amid the record-breaking spend sanctioned by part-owner Todd Boehly.