Premier League • England

Chelsea submitted ‘two late bids’ for Brighton starlet; summer move now in sight

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel smiling in May 2021

Chelsea had two late bids for a Brighton starlet rejected, according to one journalist, although they could be successful when the summer transfer window opens.

The Blues signed young talent Dylan Williams from Derby County on January 24, before agreeing a deal with Charlton Athletic for teenage striker Mason Burstow.

Williams will link up with Chelsea’s U23 team, while Burstow is back at Charlton on loan to continue his exciting development.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were reportedly planning to add another player to their ranks before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Goal correspondent Nizaar Kinsella claims they put two offers on the table for Brighton’s Zak Sturge. He is a 17-year-old left-back who represents Brighton U18s and England U18s.

The Seagulls rejected both bids as they do not want to gift a talented defender to a Premier League rival.

But Sturge still looks set to be on the move. He turned down a contract offer at the Amex in December, which means he will become a free agent in the summer.

Chelsea to monitor the teenager’s situation

Chelsea are keeping tabs on the situation and could swoop in once his terms expire. However, they face competition from Bundesliga clubs.

Kinsella states Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg also hold an interest in Sturge. They can sort out a pre-contract agreement with him immediately, putting Chelsea’s transfer pursuit under threat.

While Sturge was unlikely to become a first-team regular if he did join Chelsea, he could have earned some minutes as left wing-back has proven to be a problem for Tuchel recently.

Ben Chilwell could miss the rest of the campaign following a knee ligament injury. That leaves the manager with Marcos Alonso as the only senior option in the position.

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After being beaten to the signing of Lucas Digne by Aston Villa, Chelsea believed they had the answer in Emerson Palmieri.

The defender is part-way through a season-long loan at Lyon. As such, Chelsea offered the French club £3million in compensation for Emerson to return, but they didn’t accept.

In the end, Tuchel had to settle on fellow loanee Kenedy. The Brazilian will provide backup for Alonso after returning from his temporary spell with Flamengo.

Blues given green light in defender hunt

Meanwhile, Chelsea have seemingly been given the green light to pursue Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt amid claims that his agent is ‘looking for a new club’ for him.

The Italian giants spent €75m (£62.5m) to land striker Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina.

The 22-year-old had been on Arsenal’s radar but the Gunners were ultimately unsuccessful in convincing him to join.

The Bianconeri’s large expenditure on Vlahovic looks set to give Chelsea a boost as they hunt de Ligt.

According to The Sun, who cite Italian outlet Tuttosport, Max Allegri’s team now needs to save money and is unwilling to offer de Ligt a new contract.

They do not want to fork out more than £190,000 per week on the centre-back’s wages. This means he could be sold in the summer.

de Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola, is now actively ‘looking for a new club’ for his client, which is where Chelsea come in.

As per recent reports, Blues director Marina Granovskaia is ‘confident’ of capturing the Netherlands international.

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