Chelsea make contact to beat Man Utd, City to bargain defender deal

Chelsea are ahead of five other Premier League sides in the race to sign VfL Bochum defender Armel Bella-Kotchap, according to a report.

The Blues did not sign anyone in January despite their transfer ban being lifted, but have already started making moves for the summer, confirming that Hakim Ziyech will join them for next season.

His signing is unlikely to be the only one that Chelsea make, if reports in The Sun are to be believed – although the story in question is far from a done deal.

According to the newspaper, Chelsea are one of six English sides keeping tabs on Bella-Kotchap, an 18-year-old defender who has broken into Bochum’s first team over the past 12 months.

The centre-back was born in France, but represents Germany at youth international level, gaining five Under-18 caps so far.

It is claimed that Chelsea have already made contact with his entourage over a possible summer move, although Manchester rivals United and City are also watching on.

Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and Wolves complete the set of Premier League clubs keeping an eye on Bella-Kotchap, but that isn’t where the list of interested parties ends, as Barcelona and Real Madrid are also aware of his potential.

Despite Bella-Kotchap recently extending his Bochum contract until 2024, the second-tier German club are willing to consider offers for the teenager in the summer, with the price-tag set at £6.5m.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Liverpool goalkeeper target Ugurcan Cakir, as they ponder replacing Kepa Arrizabalaga in the summer. Read the full story here.