Chelsea have identified an England international left-back and a superstar Ajax midfielder as their top transfer targets in the summer, but hopes of complimenting their squad with the added firepower of Dries Mertens in January appear to have been dashed.
Chilwell has blossomed into one of the league’s finest full-backs during his time at the King Power, attracting the attention of a host of the Premier League’s heavyweights.
Man Utd have repeatedly been linked with a swoop and near neighbours Man City have also registered interest, meaning a costly bidding war could ensue in six months’ time.
That will not deter Chelsea, however, with the ESPN report stating that Lampard’s ‘efforts will initially focus on overcoming interest from Manchester City and Manchester United in England full-back Chilwell.’
With current left-footed options Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri regularly overlooked in favour of Cesar Azpilicueta, a move for 23-year-old Chilwell could shore up the Blues’ left side for the better part of the next decade.
Attacking midfielder Ziyech has excelled in the four years since his move from Twente to Ajax, but the possibility of the Amsterdam club cashing on for a huge profit always remains.
The Blues are again expected to face stiff competition from the Red Devils for his summer signature, but the ESPN article states that ‘Chelsea have moved ahead of [Man Utd] in the race to sign the Netherlands-born Moroccan.’
Chelsea’s hopes of making an imminent splash in the market have taken a blow, however, with a forwards-bolstering move for Napoli frontman Dries Mertens appearing to have gone cold.
Lampard had reportedly been’ keen to sign Belgium striker Mertens this month, but the 32-year-old has shown little appetite to leave Napoli.’
With a ‘£40m price tag’ attached to the 32-year-old, chances of a quick deal materialising seem unlikely at best.