Who could replace Lukaku at Chelsea?
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Chelsea will have to pay a premium price to land Milan Skriniar this summer after Paris Saint-Germain saw their €50million (£42.3m) bid for the defender rebuffed by Inter Milan. A host of top European clubs, including the Blues and Tottenham, are aiming to strike a deal for the 27-year-old in the coming weeks.
Although Skriniar has evolved into a key player for Inter, the defender has just over 12 months remaining on his current deal and could be sold by the Italian giants this summer – but Inter have no plans on letting him go on the cheap.
According to a new report from football.london, PSG have already seen a mega-money bid for Skriniar rebuffed, with Inter’s valuation of the Slovakian defender thought to be around €70m (£60m).
The report goes on to outline that PSG are expected to return with an improved bid in the coming weeks, meaning Chelsea could be caught up in a bidding war for one of their primary summer transfer targets.
After months of frustration at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are able to operate in the transfer market once again following Todd Boehly’s takeover. Thomas Tuchel is set to have around £200m to strengthen his squad this summer – but the pressure is on the Blues chief to hit the ground running in the coming weeks to avert a full-blown defensive crisis.
Chelsea have already lost the services of their star centre-back, Antonio Rudiger, who will officially join Real Madrid at the end of the month when his contract in west London officially expires.
And Chelsea also confirmed earlier this week that academy graduate Andreas Christensen is also set to leave the club at the end of month when his deal is up. The Danish defender is expected to link up with Barcelona, who have been sniffing around the 26-year-old for months.
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Sevilla star Jules Kounde is Chelsea’s top transfer target this summer – just 12 months after a deal for centre-half collapsed at an advanced stage. The Blues have also been credited with an interest in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. Koulibaly has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge before, but the defender has just one year remaining on his current deal in Italy and could be available for the right price.
Although Tuchel is facing a major summer rebuild, the Blues chief seems enthused by the challenge. He told football.london: “We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. We are rebuilding. This is always challenging, but we are up for the challenge.
“I don’t know where we are from day one. What I can promise is that I will be here – if I can promise that – I will be here with full energy and positive energy no matter what. We will still work for Chelsea, and I refuse to think of negative scenarios. We will be competitive, on which level we will see.”
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