Chelsea could get the chance to sign Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez as a result of Antonio Rudiger signing for the Spanish champions, according to a report.
Finding new defenders is a priority task for Chelsea during the summer transfer window. They have lost Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, but an even bigger blow has been the exit of Rudiger for Real Madrid.
Rudiger established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League under Thomas Tuchel. Joining European champions Real Madrid represents an even higher step up.
Madrid’s gain will be Chelsea’s loss. Rudiger will leave a void in the Blues’ backline that will be hard to fill. They have subsequently been linked with a number of defensive targets.
Among them are high-profile options like Matthijs de Ligt and Jules Kounde. However, De Ligt may join Bayern Munich instead, while Kounde’s asking price remains high.
A more feasible target for Chelsea is Nathan Ake, whom they are working on bringing back from Manchester City. But they would still need one more.
In that regard, Bernabeu Digital are reporting that Chelsea could actually sign someone who has been pushed down the Real Madrid pecking order by Rudiger.
The website suggests Nacho has become an option for Chelsea to consider. He is now fourth in command at the Bernabeu, behind Rudiger, Eder Militao and David Alaba. Jesus Vallejo is another, lesser used option on their books.
According to the report, Real would not stand in Nacho’s way if he wanted to leave this summer, 12 months before his contract expires. He has given them more than a decade of service, making 275 appearances.
They would be willing to keep the 32-year-old, like some of their other most senior players. At the same time, they can understand if he would want to leave them for the first time in his career in search of more playing time, despite making 42 appearances last season.
Bernabeu Digital claim Chelsea view Nacho as a solid operator, who would also not come at too much of a cost due to his age and contract status. For now, though, they are yet to make any kind of negotiation.
Nacho an intriguing case
Having spent years as a backup player for Madrid, Nacho is now nearing the twilight of his career.
It seems unusual to ask what might have been for a player who has five Champions League medals and three from La Liga in his cabinet. His career has been successful, but could it have been different elsewhere?
Now may finally be the time for Nacho to make such a decision. Playing in the Premier League for the first time would be interesting.
Bernabeu Digital note that Nacho has played well against Chelsea in the Champions League before. Hence, perhaps he could adapt to English football.
But Chelsea already have one veteran centre-back in the shape of Thiago Silva. It remains to be seen what kind of balance they will be going for when pursuing new options in the position.