Premier League • England

Chelsea plot another mammoth spend with £100m-plus Prem ace and unstoppable France attacker part of three-position revamp

France forwards Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Christopher Nkunku

Chelsea could go big in the transfer market a second time with a three-position overhaul potentially ousting a regular starter whose struggles have come out of nowhere.

The Blues led all of Europe when splashing out around £254m on new recruits this summer. Any doubts as to whether Todd Boehly and his Clearlake partners would spend big were emphatically put to bed.

The likes of Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana and Raheem Sterling all arrived for big fees. However, according to the Telegraph, the spending is far from over.

Their article centres around Chelsea injecting themselves into the race for Jude Bellingham.

Details on that front can be found here, including which two clubs are leading the way in what promises to be 2023’s transfer saga of the year.

However, the report notes central midfield is just one of three areas Chelsea want to address in the market. The others are the forward line and goalkeeper.

Regarding the latter, it’s stated current first choice, Edouard Mendy, has turned down ‘at least’ one contract extension. His current deal doesn’t expire until 2025, but doubts as to his suitability are surfacing.

The 30-year-old quickly displaced Kepa Arrizabalaga upon signing from Rennes for £22m in 2020. However, his form has dipped this season and there are doubts as to whether he suits new manager Graham Potter’s demands.

Indeed, Potter reportedly wants his stopper to be comfortable with the ball at feet and have excellent distribution. For all his shot-stopping abilities, Mendy is limited with his footwork and passing range.

Kepa was made available for transfer last summer, though no offers emerged despite loan interest from Napoli.

Who Chelsea could sign to become the new No 1 keeper isn’t hinted at, though who they could buy in midfield and up front is.

Declan Rice would break Chelsea record

Bellingham is obviously a clear target in midfield. However, if he cannot be signed, Chelsea have Declan Rice in mind too.

The Blues have long been touted as the logical next step for Rice. They’d be able to satisfy his Champions League ambitions more often than not and Rice was on Chelsea’s books between 2006-14.

West Ham and David Moyes have gone on record to state Rice is valued well into nine figures. Moyes has even cited a £150m figure in the past. Chelsea’s current transfer record is held by Romelu Lukaku at £97.5m.

The Telegraph reckon Chelsea could tempt West Ham with a bid next summer. Given the fees involved, logic would dictate only one of Rice and Bellingham could be signed.

Uncertainty surrounds two of Chelsea’s primary midfield options at present. Both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are out of contract next summer.

Kante has been verbally offered an extension, though took umbrage with what was proposed.

The final piece of Chelsea’s puzzle regards the forward ranks. On that front, RB Leipzig and France ace, Christopher Nkunku, is on their radar.

Nkunku operating at elite level

The 24-year-old can play anywhere across the frontline and was simply unstoppable last season.

Nkunku bagged 35 goals and 20 assists in 52 matches across all competitions. A ratio of more than one goal contribution per game is usually reserved for the likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski and co.

Chelsea are described as ‘watching’ Nkunku who has a €60m (£54m) release clause that can be activated next summer.

Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed Chelsea’s interest in the attacker for 2023.

“There will be many clubs in the race for Nkunku next summer, including Chelsea as they’ve always been interested and attentive to his growth,” said Romano.

“Nothing has been decided yet on the next step, it will be in 2023 – Nkunku will be one of the big names next summer.”