Chelsea shift focus away from Chilwell as Monaco star emerges as target

Date published: Friday 8th May 2020 5:39

Chelsea have reportedly lined up Monaco left-back Fode Ballo-Toure as a plan B in case prising Ben Chilwell away from Leicester proves to be too expensive.

The Blues are in the market for a new left-back for next season, with doubts over the futures of both Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso.

Brazil-born Italy international Emerson and former Fiorentina full-back Alonso are both being linked with moves back to Serie A, with two former Chelsea coaches behind the bids.

Maurizio Sarri would like to take Emerson to Juventus, while Antonio Conte is keen on a reunion with Alonso at Inter Milan – although he also has Palmieri on his shortlist, having originally brought him to Stamford Bridge.

The most likely replacement, should either of the duo depart, has seemed to be Ben Chilwell so far, with the Leicester star having firmly established himself as first-choice in the position for his club and at international level with England.

However, the Foxes are not known for letting their stars leave on the cheap – having commanded a world record fee for a defender to allow Harry Maguire to leave for Manchester United last summer, for example – and it is claimed they could ask for as much as £60m before considering letting Chilwell move on.

Therefore, Foot Mercato (via The Sun) claim that Chelsea have their eyes on Fode Ballo-Toure as a cheaper alternative.

The 23-year-old came through the academy ranks at Paris Saint-Germain, playing in their B team from the age of 17, but never making it into the first team.

Ballo-Toure has since spent 18 months at Lille, and is currently owned by Monaco, where he has played since January 2019.

Despite initially struggling to adapt to his new surroundings, the nine-time France Under-21 international has now established himself at Stade Louis II, and is once again attracting Premier League interest having caught the attention of West Ham during the last transfer window.

The Hammers are not mentioned among the current interested parties, but Chelsea will face competition from the Bundesliga, where Schalke and RB Leipzig are keeping tabs on the player.


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