It’s a decisive week for Chelsea in the transfer market as Todd Boehly looks to help boss Thomas Tuchel strengthen his squad, as they begin a new era at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea appear to have landed coveted Brazilian winger Raphinha after agreeing a £60million deal with Leeds.
Talks are also already underway with Manchester City trio Raheem Sterling, Nathan Ake and Oleksandr Zinchenko – although all three heading to west London would appear unlikely due to the cost involved.
The Blues are also waiting on Ousmane Dembele to make his mind up on his future with his Barcelona contract set to expire and Juventus are playing hardball on a deal for defender Matthijs de Ligt.
It’s a decisive week for Chelsea as they look to start signing targets including Raheem Sterling
Todd Boehly is aiming to help boss Thomas Tuchel strengthen his squad as they begin a new era
Sportsmail previously reported that Boehly had made contact with the Premier League champions with a view to wrapping up a deal for Sterling over the coming week.
The Englishman has already held positive discussions with boss Tuchel over how he would be used at Stamford Bridge, with that conversation solidifying the 27-year-old’s desire to leave the Etihad Stadium after seven years.
Not only is Sterling is on the radar from City but Ake and Zinchenko are also being targeted to help the Blues get back among the race for silverware during the upcoming campaign.
City duo Nathan Ake (left) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (right) are also also targets for the Blues
The former Chelsea youngster Ake, who has since featured for Bournemouth and City, is seen as a good replacement for Antonio Rudiger as he can play on the left side of a back three as well as fill in at left-back and in midfield.
City would need to buy a centre-back if they were to allow Ake to leave which would be costly, especially given that the Dutchman is classified as a homegrown player.
Zinchenko is perhaps more of a surprise to be linked with the club, but considering there is still speculation mounting around Marcos Alonso heading off to Barcelona, he could be seen as good competition at left-back for Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea do, however, face competition from Everton and West Ham to sign the Ukrainian, but it is a question of how much they would have to cough up to bring the three players in from a rival this summer.
The west London outfit have already lost two center backs this summer, with Rudiger and Andreas Christensen joining Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, on free transfers at the end of their contracts at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have already lost two center backs this summer, with Antonio Rudiger (left) and Andreas Christensen (right) joining Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively on free transfers
They could also lose another back-three option in Cesar Azpilicueta and even Alonso both of whom have been linked to Barca, which means they have plenty of work to do in rebuilding their defensive unit.
Chelsea have been targeting the likes of De Ligt, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar to solve the crisis.
Juventus turned down a bid for Dutchman De Ligt, despite both Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic being offered to them, but talks remain ongoing with the Blues hoping to convince the Italian giants to part with the player.
Chelsea are chasing defender Matthijs de Ligt (left) and even offering forward Timo Werner (right) as part of a deal with Juventus
The 22-year-old’s £102million release clause may prove to be too expensive, therefore they have also set their sights on Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain are rivaling Chelsea for Skriniar’s signature and have offered around £52m, but that fee has been deemed too low, potentially leaving the door open for a switch.
Another defensive target is Kounde, who has been heavily linked with the Blues all summer, but they face plenty of competition on that front.
They may be able to pay just £56million for the Sevilla defender, with the club believing to be willing to accept less than his release clause.
Another defensive target for the Blues is Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde this summer
His contract states that the clause can be triggered for £69million, but Chelsea must beat off Spanish giants Barcelona if they are to land the player.
The 2021 Champions League winners have also been keeping tabs on France international and RC Lens wing-back Jonathan Clauss as a long-term replacement for Azpilicueta.
The 29-year-old could provide competition for the backline and be ample cover after the Blues struggled to fill the void left by Reece James when he was sidelined last season.
Dembele remains high on the wish list of Tuchel this summer as they remain keen to add more goals into the squad, especially with Romelu Lukaku’s disastrous £98m move not working out.
Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele remains high on the wish list of Tuchel this summer
The Belgian is set to re-join Inter on a season-long loan deal after a frustrating campaign at Stamford Bridge, heightening the need for more attacking options.
Dembele’s situation is more complex than most of their other targets. Although he is out of contract at Barca, coach Xavi does not want to let him go. Dembele, 25, is open to staying at Barcelona, but not on his current wages, worth around £150,000 a week.
Chelsea can offer something similar as well as a large signing-on fee that would make his deal worth around £200,000 a week over four years. Barcelona’s £1billion of debt means they have to stick to a budget because of financial fair play rules.
The Blues are the frontrunners in the race for Raphinha after gatecrashing Arsenal’s bid
Chelsea had been exploring the possibility of signing Richarlison – but the deal for Raphinha paves the way for Tottenham to land the Everton forward.
The Blues have acted quickly to gatecrash Arsenal’s bid to sign Raphinha from Leeds, a promising move from Boehly, who installed himself as interim sporting director after the departure of Marina Granovskaia was confirmed.
Raphinha offers Chelsea another dimension in attack and could line-up alongside Sterling and Kai Havertz in what looks a formidable front three.
In terms of outgoings, Rudiger, Christensen, Danny Drinkwater, Charly Musonda, and Jake Clarke-Salter have departed, with more expected to come.