An incredible XI of players already linked with Chelsea this summer
Chelsea’s transfer targets have begun to emerge after the club finally sorted out their ownership issues, and there are so many we’ve been able to put together an amazing XI of players the club has already been linked with.
With Todd Boehly replacing Roman Abramovich at the top of the pile, he faces a huge task in his first transfer window as the new owner, with the club needing to bring in reinforcements.
A number of key players are on their way out, with defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen moving to Real Madrid and Barcelona, while Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and Romelu Lukaku could all yet leave.
Chelsea have been notoriously big spenders for years but will need a strong first window under their new owners in order to close the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool.
So from big-name signings to those lined up for squad rotation roles, here’s a starting XI of Chelsea transfer targets using the same 3-4-3 formation that Thomas Tuchel does in real life.
GK: Gabriel Slonina
Just 18 years old, the Chicago Fire teenager had been linked with Real Madrid, but Chelsea are now reportedly set to win the race for the shot-stopper.
An £8.5million deal could be on the cards for the American, who would be a shrewd purchase for the future. Yet he could also contribute in the short-term, having already made 25 senior appearances despite his young age.
RWB: Denzel Dumfries
The Dutch wing-back only joined Inter last summer but has been linked with a move to west London.
This would be a surprising transfer given the excellent form of Reece James, but there have been whispers of a move to Real Madrid for the 22-year-old, and Dumfries may be lined up as his replacement.
A first Inter goal for Denzel Dumfries! 💥
He steams in at the back post to put the visitors 3-0 up in the first half against Roma 😳 pic.twitter.com/6dveWJw9yf
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 4, 2021
CB: Stefan de Vrij
Chelsea are in desperate need of defenders having lost Christensen and Rudiger for free, and the Dutchman only has one year left on his contract at Inter.
Italian media have touted Chelsea as a possible destination for the 30-year-old, who had a poor season by his own high standards as Inter relinquished their title to rivals AC Milan.
CB: Jules Kounde
The Sevilla centre-back has been the subject of interest from Chelsea for what feels like an eternity, and he may finally get his big move this summer.
The 23-year-old has been exceptional for Sevilla and would attract a fee of no less than £50million.
Kounde has a release clause of around £80million in his contract, but Sevilla are reportedly ready to accept a lower bid as they look to rebuild their own squad.
CB: Josko Gvardiol
The 20-year-old centre-back has been outstanding for RB Leipzig, and can also fill in at left-back.
Tall, agile and with exceptional ability on the ball, Gvardiol is the ideal signing to replace Rudiger in the back three, but a substantial fee may be required to land the Croatian International.
LWB: Borna Sosa
Gvardiol is not the only Croatian Chelsea are after, as Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa is rumoured to be a target to replace the outbound Marcos Alonso.
The 24-year-old notched up nine assists in 30 games last season, and his strong attacking ability from wing-back makes him well suited to Chelsea’s style under Tuchel.
Chelsea could make a £25million move for Sosa, who would provide strong competition for Ben Chilwell.
CM: Ibrahim Sangare
Available fairly cheaply owing to his reported £30million release clause, Sangare could provide Tuchel with some much-needed quality in his midfield rotation.
The Ivorian is one of the few defensive midfielders available on the market, and with N’Golo Kante becoming more and more injury prone he would be an ideal pick-up for Chelsea at just 22 years old.
United and Arsenal are reportedly sniffing around for him as well, but Chelsea’s Champions League football could be the deciding factor.
CM: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Perennially linked to every big club, Milinkovic-Savic still has not moved from Lazio.
Chelsea are the latest club caught up in the Milinkovic-Savic transfer rumour complex, but whether interest is in the Spanish-born Serb is genuine is unclear.
With his contract running out in 2024, this is likely Lazio’s last chance to secure big money for him. The question is, are there any clubs willing to spend it?
RW: Ousmane Dembele
At Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel helped Dembele become the player Barcelona were willing to splash so much money on, and the German may be the key to bringing the French free agent to Stamford Bridge.
“He is a very good player when he is in his top level. I am very fortunate to have trained him in my time at Dortmund. It was only one year, it should have been longer,” Tuchel said earlier this year.
Well, he may soon have the chance to put that right.
CF: Gabriel Jesus
Linked heavily with Arsenal since the start of the transfer window, the Blues are now also touted as a potential destination for the Brazilian striker with Romelu Lukaku looking increasingly likely to depart.
But would Tuchel and co fancy a gamble on the inconsistent striker? Having already been let down heavily by one expensive centre-forward, a risk on another may not be something Stamford Bridge would have the stomach for.
LW: Raheem Sterling
Liverpool, City… Chelsea? It would be some career path for Sterling and something of a homecoming for the winger who grew up in northwest London.
At 27 years old, the winger is certainly still an appealing asset to top-sides around the world and, in addition to his stunning Euro 2020 performances, he had a run of games for City in 2021-22 that proved doubters over his ability wrong.
Reports suggest it’s a Sterling or Dembele situation for Chelsea, but Sterling’s injury record may make him a more appealing prospect despite a £60million price tag.