Chelsea are reportedly weighing up putting a huge cash-plus-player deal to Juventus to satisfy a Roman Abramovich demand.
The Blues appear on course to land a clinical striker for a club record fee. Trusted source Fabrizio Romano described an agreement totalling £97.5m to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge as “confirmed.”
Signing an elite level hitman was Chelsea’s top priority this summer, however, acquiring a new centre-half was not far behind.
Chelsea have been frequently linked with prising highly-rated Frenchman Jules Kounde away from Sevilla.
The 22-year-old reportedly has a release clause of £68m in his contract, though the Blues have seemingly been reluctant to trigger it thus far.
However, Caught Offside have presented an alternative view. Citing Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, they state Dutch defender Matthijs De Ligt could be targeted instead.
The Juventus centre-back, 21, earned a move ultimately worth €75m to Juventus in 2019 after excelling at Ajax.
His form in Turin can only be described as patchy at best, though the article suggests Abramovich is a keen admirer.
They state the Blues owner ‘would love to see de Ligt become Thiago Silva’s long-term successor.’
Silva surpassed all expectations last year with a truly superb showing in his maiden campaign in England.
But at 36, the Brazilian is clearly not a long-term option. And with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both out of contract next summer, acquiring a long-term centre-half is quickly becoming a priority.
As such, it is claimed Chelsea are ‘considering’ an offer of £50m-plus-Timo Werner to land De Ligt.
Werner could now be deemed surplus to requirements with Lukaku’s signing on the verge. Nevertheless, an offer of that type would far outweigh the total cost it would take to sign Sevilla’s Kounde and should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt.
Though given the latest news surrounding Lukaku, Abramovich has shown he is willing to go above and beyond when the right target is available.
Havertz warns of Lukaku, Werner problem
Meanwhile, Chelsea forward Kai Havertz has indirectly warned his side they may not be the same creative force if Lukaku pushed Werner out of the eleven.
Despite struggling in front of goal last year, Werner notched a team-leading 15 assists in all competitions. And speaking to the Athletic, Havertz outlined the importance to Chelsea of Werner’s all-around game.
“After last season you have to say he’s [Werner] a better assist-maker than everyone else in the team,” said Havertz.
“He changed his style of play and made more assists than goals, but he has every ability.
“In the Champions League final, for example, he did the run to the left which opened the space for me (to score). He can do everything, and that’s a reason why he’s so unpredictable.”