Chelsea transfer explodes into life as Pochettino looks to barge Tottenham aside for elite Bundesliga star

Bayer Leverkuen star Edmond Tapsoba is a target for both Tottenham and Chelsea this summer

Edmond Tapsoba is a target for both Tottenham and Chelsea this summer

Chelsea are reportedly set to enter the running to sign Edmond Tapsoba this summer amid claims Mauricio Pochettino has been given clearance to beat Tottenham to the Bayer Leverkusen defender, who is seen as a top target to replace an experienced star.

The 25-year-old centre-half has established himself as not just one of the best defenders in Germany, but in world football with some seriously commanding displays in the heart of the Leverkusen defence. Indeed, Tapsoba is one of the first names on Xabi Alonso’s team sheet and is just one of several reasons why they have managed to establish themselves as eight-point leaders at the Bundesliga summit.

Indeed, Tapsoba, who stands an imposing 6ft 4in, has been a rock-solid presence in the heart of a defence that has so far conceded just 15 goals in 22 games, 18 of which have been wins and four having been drawn in an unbeaten start this season.

Understandably, Leverkusen’s stars have found themselves the subject of plenty of transfer interest, with an astonishing report earlier this week claiming Manchester United had set their sights on four of them, including Tapsoba.

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However, the strongest interest has undoubtedly come from Tottenham, with the Burkina Faso international subject of a firm enquiry by Ange Postecoglou’s side last summer as they looked to strengthen their defensive options.

Ultimately, Bayer responded by slapping a hefty €50m (£42.7m) asking price on their defender and ultimately moved to protect their interest in the 25-year-old by signing him to a new contract through to 2028.

Tottenham face Chelsea battle for Tapsoba

Spurs ended up signing the rapid Micky van de Ven instead, though their interest in acquiring Tapsoba has never faded and he is still seen as a future target of the club as they bid to further improve on Postecoglou’s options.

Tapsoba’s agent has done little either to dampen claims the player could be on the move this summer, suggesting his price tag will be “a minimum €50m”.

And in a 2023 interview, the player made clear his Premier League influences on his career, revealing he models his game on two current greats.

Speaking to Bulinews, Tapsoba stated: “My friends used to call me [Per] Mertesacker. When I started playing at the academy, I started to like John Stones.

“Right now, I’d say my role models are van [Virgil] Van Dijk and [Kalidou] Koulibaly.”

However, according to SportBILD, there is a new firm suitor for Tapsoba emerging in the form of Chelsea, who are not ready to push hard to bring the player to Stamford Bridge.

Tapsoba seen as Thiago Silva replacement

The Blues are likely to be seeking a replacement for the ageing Thiago Silva, whose deal at the club expires this summer.

At 39, the 113-cap Brazilian is likely to move on after four excellent years worth of service to the club. An astute free-transfer signing, Thiago Silva has defied his advancing years with a number of stellar displays in the heart of their defence, often proving their most reliable defensive performer.

However, with Pochettino reliying that bit less on the player this season, there are suggestions he will be allowed to move on with either a switch to Saudi Arabia or his native Brazil seemingly on the cards.

Now it’s reported that Tapsoba has emerged as Pochettino’s number one option to step in for the former AC Milan and PSG stalwart and the Argentina will push hard to beat Tottenham to his potential signature.

As a result, and with Todd Boehly prepared to provide funds for his signing, they are reportedly keen to open talks with his representatives over a possible summer deal.

Pochettino may, though, have a fight on his hands, especially if Tottenham can secure Champions League football, which will put them as an instantly more-attractive option to the player if he does indeed head to England.

The player may also want to see what develops at Liverpool, especially given his manager Xabi Alonso’s links there and amid claims he too is wanted at Anfield.

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