Chelsea ‘see £50m Marcos Llorente bid rejected’ but still have way to get transfer done

Andy Dunn reviews Chelsea's season so far

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Chelsea have failed to tempt Atletico Madrid into selling Marcos Llorente with an initial offer in the region of £50million, according to reports. The Blues are still believed to be in the market for additional reinforcements ahead of next month’s all-important transfer deadline, with Thomas Tuchel keen on adding further quality in his ranks in preparation for a renewed top-four bid in the Premier League over the course of the campaign.

N’Golo Kante’s recent injury has forced Chelsea to begin searching for a new central midfielder, with Llorente having emerged as a target for the west Londoners over the last few days. New Blues owner Todd Boehly has wasted little time in firming up his interest in Llorente but will be forced to submit an improved offer in order to stand any chance of bringing the player to Stamford Bridge this summer, according to Relevo.

It is said that Chelsea have already seen a bid worth around £50m knocked back by Atletico, who are unwilling to part ways with Llorente on the cheap as things stand. They have reportedly informed the Blues that a second offer will need to be closer to the player’s release clause of £101m in order to force through a move, but it remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea will be prepared to make Llorente their club-record signing over the coming weeks.

Llorente is also said to be happy with life at Atletico, the club he joined from cross-city rivals Real Madrid in the summer of 2019. He is not believed to be keen on the idea of joining Chelsea, which suggests that the burden will be on Boehly to convince him that a summer move to Stamford Bridge would be in his best interests.

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Chelsea previously baulked at Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong’s price tag of around £67m and it seems unlikely that they would be willing to meet Atletico’s demands with regards to Llorente for the foreseeable future. They are now expected to look elsewhere in their efforts to find a replacement for Kante, who is set to remain on the sidelines for up to a month after picking up an injury during Chelsea’s draw with Tottenham last weekend.

Llorente is under contract in the Spanish capital until the summer of 2027 and is widely expected to play a key role for Diego Simeone’s side in midfield over the course of the new season. He registered a total of 40 appearances in all competitions for Atletico last time around, chipping in with a trio of assists in the process.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have already spent more than any other Premier League club on new players since the end of the previous campaign, with Boehly having splashed around £175million in the market over the last few months. Tuchel has already insisted that he will be looking to make further additions to his squad between now and the end of the window but went on to admit that it would not be the end of the world if no more deals are struck over the coming weeks.

“We don’t play fantasy football, and in the end, we need to pay for it, convince the players, and convince clubs to give us their best players, and this is simply not happening,” the Chelsea boss told reporters earlier this month.

“I am super happy with what we’ve succeeded so far. Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney [Chukwuemeka] and Marc Cucurella are fantastic signings, and I’m more than happy they are with us.

“It’s not finished, everybody knows. But if it’s finished, if we don’t do anything else, we fight with this squad. If it’s not finished, we try to get further quality and with further quality, the ambition level rises.”

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