Chelsea have been handed a significant lift in their bid to land Ben Chilwell after Leicester were green lighted to sign a replacement.
Chilwell is on Chelsea’s shopping list as Roman Abramovich embarks on a massive summer spree. Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already been brought in, with the German confirmed earlier this month.
Now the Russian has his eyes on at several more big names – and Chilwell appears top of the list.
Chelsea, however, have been told it will cost £75m to sign the England left-back and they are prepared to stand their ground.
They employed a similar tactic last summer when selling Harry Maguire to Manchester United – and Brendan Rodgers remains totally calm.
“There’s no need to comment on it. He’s come back, he looks fantastic,” Rodgers said. “He’s come back refreshed and in everything he’s done he’s looked exceptional.”
Asked again about his future, Rodgers added: “We’re relaxed on it. It’s a sequence the club is used to no. When you have a talented group of players they’re going to make the headlines. But I’m pretty relaxed on it.”
However, the Foxes are actively seeking a replacement for Chilwell this summer, according to reports. The man at the top of their wanted list is Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico, but a deal for him had, previously, seemed tricky.
But Ajax have now signalled their intent to cash in on the Argentine – giving the Foxes renewed hope of a deal.
Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag told Het Parool: “For [Andre] Onana and [Donny] Van de Beek, another year at Ajax could certainly be an option.
“For Tagliafico – because of his age – something different. In preparation I will try Lisandro Martinez in that position.”
Chelsea plan to partially fund Chilwell‘s signing by allowing Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri to leave.
Chelsea keen on Onana, Rice deals
Sunday’s Paper Talk, meanwhile, claims Chelsea want Declan Rice to lead their defence next season. The West Ham star has shone in defence this season and it’s reported the Blues growing confident of a deal.
Rice was in Chelsea’s academy before switching to West Ham. Any transfer would likely cost in the region of £50m.
The Blues are also back in the hunt for Ajax keeper Onana, reports the Sunday Express. The paper claims Frank Lampard sees the Cameroonian as a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga. The 25-year-old has been in and out of Lampard’s side this season. But it’s now claimed he will be allowed to return to LaLiga, with Onana – valued at £35m by Ajax – the top choice to succeed him.
Chelsea have also been linked with Kai Havertz. However, Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz claims there are no “telltale signs” that suggests the 20-year-old could be lured away. Read more here.