Liverpool and Man City are both converging on a Chelsea star whose exit would leave Todd Boehly with serious questions to answer, per a report.
In lieu of Chelsea’s colossal expenditure over the last two transfer windows, a ‘fire sale’ has been predicted by many an outlet.
The Mirror were the latest to tip such a scenario and listed nine players who could make way. Two in particular are of interest to Liverpool and Newcastle.
But while Chelsea would gladly part ways with the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for example, selling their homegrown assets will be far more lucrative.
The Evening Standard explain that under UEFA’s new financial sustainability rules, selling homegrown stars will be chalked up as ‘pure profit’ on the balance sheet.
As such, exits for Levi Colwill, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all more viable than they otherwise would have been.
On that front, the Standard highlight centre-back Colwill as a player coming under the microscope at both Anfield and the Etihad.
Liverpool vs Man City for Levi Colwill
The left-sided centre-half, 20, is currently on loan at Brighton. His loan deal was sanctioned in conjunction with the £62m deal that saw Marc Cucurella move the other way.
Colwill has split time with Adam Webster as Lewis Dunk’s partner at centre-half. He’s earned rave reviews when playing and his ability on the ball and eye for a defence-splitting pass looks tailor-made for the bigger sides.
The report adds Colwill is viewed as a future England international and is fast emerging as a credible option for Gareth Southgate at Euro 2024. However, when that time comes, he may be on the books of Liverpool or Man City, not Chelsea.
Both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are eyeing a refresh of the centre-back ranks. City look likely to sanction Aymeric Laporte’s exit, while Liverpool could wave goodbye to all three of Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.
As a left-footer, Colwill is even more valuable to City and Liverpool. The Reds don’t boast a single left-footed centre-half. City have two (Nathan Ake and Laporte), but Laporte could leave anyway. With Guardiola now favouring a 3-2-4-1 formation, Colwill looks perfect for the left side of his back three.
Both Liverpool and City are deemed ‘ready to raid’ Chelsea and take advantage of their need to generate money through player sales.
From Chelsea’s perspective, it’s claimed they still retain hope of tying Colwill down to fresh terms. However, if he rebuffs their advances, a sale will become increasingly viable given he’ll only have two years remaining on his Chelsea deal come the summer.
Brighton too will be in the frame if the greenlight to a permanent move is given. Unlike Liverpool, they may be able to offer European football too. However, the lure of moving to Anfield or the Etihad would be difficult for Brighton to contend with.
Colwill exit would be shambolic for Chelsea
A Colwill sale – especially to a direct rival – would leave Boehly with a series of questions to answer.
Selling a homegrown star seemingly destined for big things is bad enough. However, strengthening a rival in the process would be an even bitterer pill to swallow.
What’s more, Chelsea have forked out £135.5m on new centre-backs since Boehly and his Clearlake partners took charge. Benoit Badiashile and Kalidou Koulibaly cost £33m each, while Wesley Fofana set the Blues back £69.5m.
If Liverpool and City’s interest and Colwill’s displays are anything to go by, Chelsea had the answer on their books all along.