Although Chelsea are being heavily linked with Rayan Cherki, Tottenham have also held talks for the Lyon attacking midfielder, a report has claimed.
Cherki has become a possible target for Chelsea in recent weeks after a season in which he scored five goals and added six assists from 39 appearances across all competitions for Lyon, from whom the Blues have already wrapped up the signing of Malo Gusto.
Sources told TEAMtalk earlier this month that Cherki has been pushing to follow Gusto to Chelsea. It has led to some conflicting opinions, with one observer calling him a ‘street footballer’ with obvious flaws, but another comparing him to former Blues favourite Eden Hazard.
Even if Cherki is a work in progress, there is clearly a talented player there. Perhaps understandably, Chelsea are not the only club that would like to take advantage of his potential.
According to an update from Football Transfers, Chelsea have held talks with Cherki’s representatives during their recent trip to London.
However, at the same time, capital rivals Tottenham also reached out to Cherki’s entourage for similar discussions.
While he has also been linked with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, it is the two Premier League clubs who have taken concrete steps towards a transfer, per the report.
Chelsea would be willing to offer €40m (£34.6m) to Lyon for Cherki, but the Ligue 1 side are ready to raise their asking price. Exactly how much it will take to prise him away from their grasp remains to be seen.
But some external scrutiny on their finances could prompt Lyon to cash in on their top talent, who is only under contract for another two seasons.
Chelsea and Tottenham seek Cherki for extra creativity
Neither Chelsea nor Tottenham will be able to offer involvement in European football next season. However, both have been competitive in the not-too-distant past.
Furthermore, they are both setting out on new projects this summer. Ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has taken the reins at Chelsea, while Ange Postecoglou is the face of the new Tottenham era.
Both clubs are aiming to strengthen in midfield while the transfer window is open. This summer alone, Chelsea have already lost Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek from the department.
Tottenham, for their part, want to add more creativity to the middle of their park. Coincidentally, it has led them to consider Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher as a possible target, alongside Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa.
Able to play as a number 10 or on either wing, Cherki would be a slightly more advanced option. Indeed, the report claims Chelsea have outlined him as a potential replacement for Christian Pulisic.
Funnily enough, Pulisic was wanted by Lyon earlier in the summer, but opted to follow Loftus-Cheek to AC Milan instead.
Nevertheless, the communication line between Chelsea and Lyon would remain open if a firm offer was to arrive for Cherki. For the time being, though, it appears they and Tottenham have both been focusing on the player side of negotiations.