Chelsea are hoping to convince Ben Chilwell to push through a move from Leicester City, according to a report.
Chilwell has emerged as Chelsea’s top target for the left-back position. Doubts linger over the futures of Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, so Frank Lampard is looking for a new first choice.
At the top of his shortlist is Chilwell, who has become England’s main left-back. He made 27 appearances for Leicester this season, before missing the end of the campaign with injury.
So far, Leicester’s valuation of Chilwell has proven problematic for Chelsea’s hopes of signing him. The Foxes are demanding around £75m for the 23-year-old.
With Chelsea already having splashed out on Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, that may be problematic. However, they are hoping the player’s wishes can reduce the costs required.
According to Goal, Chelsea want Chilwell to force through a move by telling Leicester he wants to leave.
The report adds that Chelsea have not made an official approach for any other left-backs. The likes of Nicolas Tagliafico and Alex Telles are alternatives, as is Marc Cucurella, but Lampard is focusing on Chilwell for now.
And if they can’t agree a deal, then the Blues would be happy enough to stick with Emerson and Alonso. However, the former in particular remains heavily linked with a move to Serie A, where ex-Blues bosses Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri want him at Inter Milan and Juventus respectively.
Therefore, they may be forced to dip into the market. And in that event, Chilwell is the man Lampard sees as the ideal replacement.
The update follows a report from The Mirror, which suggested that Chilwell was ready to tell Leicester of his intentions to depart.
Manchester United have also been linked with the defender, but it is believed he was a Chelsea supporter growing up, which could sway his decision.
Indeed, The Mirror claimed Chilwell sees his long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
RODGERS RULES OUT CHILWELL SALE
If Chelsea’s plan is to work, then Chilwell will have to seriously persuade Leicester to let him go. Manager Brendan Rodgers revealed recently that the England man is not on the market.
“He’s a Leicester player and not one that we want to lose, so I’m quite relaxed on it,” Rodgers said earlier this month.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad and one that we want to keep together.
“There’s no intention to sell Ben Chilwell and absolutely no need to sell. The message is: He’s not for sale.”
Chilwell remains under contract at Leicester until 2024, giving the Foxes a strong negotiating position.