Chelsea could be set to conduct a big-money swap deal to beat Manchester United to the signing of Ismael Bennacer.
Bennacer has revived his career in Italy since leaving Arsenal in 2017. The Algerian earned a move to AC Milan last summer after impressing for Empoli over the prior two years.
While his previous time in England brought just one substitute appearance, Bennacer could be ready for another crack at the Premier League.
The midfielder has been linked with both Manchester clubs, United and City. And according to Algerian source Competition, it is the former who are getting serious about Bennacer.
A report from them claims that United are “waiting for the green light” from Milan to make a move. However, they are playing catch-up, as Paris Saint-Germain have already made contact with his representatives.
PSG have reportedly put €40m on the table, but Milan are holding out for €50m. The player is aware of the interest, though, with the Parisians set to offer a big salary to convince him.
However, it now appears Chelsea are leading the charge for Bennacer – and they have a cunning plan to secure his signature.
As per Calciomercato, Chelsea plan to offer Jorginho in a straight swap to Milan for Bennacer.
The Italy international appears to be craving a move back to Serie A and has been strongly linked with Juventus. But the Old Lady can only offer a swap deal for Jorginho – and none of the stars offered appeals to Lampard.
Jorginho was a regular under Lampard during the first half of the season, but gradually fell out of favour.
The 28-year-old was left out for five consecutive matches after lockdown but benefitted from N’Golo Kante’s injury and has started the last five.
However, Lampard is willing to grant him a move away and is said to be keen on the move for Bennacer.
The Italian outlet claims that while talks are yet to officially open, Chelsea could make their approach this week with the transfer window now open.
BENNACER COMMENTS ON INTEREST
Amid talk of interest from United, he told Le Buteur at the time: “I am not aware of anything. I just give everything on the pitch. I work and I am at the service of Milan.
“I’m focused on my club where I am very happy. The interest of the big clubs, however, honours me.”
Bennacer continued his rise to prominence last summer. The midfielder won the African Cup of Nations with Algeria and was named player of the tournament in the process.
His value has increased drastically since Arsenal let him go for just €1m in 2017 – with the €50m price tag a clear warning message to potential new suitors. However, it’s a value that Milan will have to consider if such an offer arrives.