Premier League • England

Thiago Silva hands Chelsea big decision with future hinging on three things, as possible £79m replacement breaks silence on January transfer

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva has put the ball in Chelsea’s court after claiming he wants to play into his forties, and a potential £79mn successor has opened up on a future move to Stamford Bridge.

The Brazilian centre-half turned 38 today, though remains as important as ever to those he represents. Questions were raised as to how he would adapt upon joining Chelsea as a free agent in 2020.

However, Silva quickly shut down any dissenting voices and more often than not, looks a cut above most centre-backs in the league.

He’s currently on international duty with Brazil where he’s still an integral figure. He’s captain of the Selecao and will hope to secure the one trophy that’s eluded him in Qatar later this year.

Regardless, in quotes carried via Chelsea’s official website, Silva outlined what his future could look like at club level.

The Blues forked out £70m to sign Wesley Fofana this summer, though Silva is still expected to feature prominently under new boss Graham Potter.

His current deal expires next summer and Silva stressed he hopes to play into his forties, thus putting Chelsea on the spot.

Chelsea stay depends on three factors

“I talk often with [former AC Milan and PSG teammate] Zlatan and recently more often because Chelsea will play against AC Milan in the Champions league,” said Silva.

“My aim is to play until I’m 40 years old but I don’t know if it will be this level or this competition.

“It depends on this season and we’ll see what will happen in the World Cup. It also depends on a contract extension but yeah, my aim is to play until I’m 40.”

Silva’s on-field displays clearly warrant an extension from Chelsea. However, like it or not, his age will factor into their decision.

The classy centre-half then opened up on how difficult it is on the body playing elite level football at his age.

“It’s very important for me that I can play on this level at this age but it’s not easy, especially in the Premier League,” he continued.

“When I finish training, I come back home and think about how I can repair myself for tomorrow.

“The intensity is high from the first minute to the last one so you have to be ready all the time. I might be 38 years old but I think I can help this team as much as possible.”

Potential Thiago Silva successor speaks out

Chelsea’s defence underwent major surgery this summer.

Marcos Alonso, Emerson Palmieri, Levi Colwill, Ethan Ampadu, Malang Sarr, Matt Miazga, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger all departed either on loan or permanently.

Replacing them were Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly and Fofana. Chelsea’s back-line is still filled to the brim with talent, though that didn’t stop them trying to sign Josko Gvardiol too.

Fabrizio Romano reported Chelsea failed with a £78.9m bid during deadline week. The 20-year-old ultimately signed a fresh contract extension with RB Leipzig on September 1.

However, that will not be the last we hear of the Croatia international who is quickly becoming one of Europe’s hottest properties.

Indeed, Romano claimed interest from all corners is growing, including from Man City.

Now, discussing Chelsea’s interest for the first time, Gvardiol insisted he remains content at Leipzig. However, he’s seemingly leaving the door ajar, teasing a possible transfer in January.

“I’m happy at Leipzig, I still have a lot to learn and need to work on myself,” said Gvardiol.

When pushed again about a summer move, Gvardiol added: “I have people who deal with it, I didn’t think about a transfer. We’ll see what happens in the winter…”