Chelsea are reportedly looking to make two big-name signings in January – while the Blues could also be lifted by the tying down to a new contract of a Thomas Tuchel favourite.
The Blues headed into the latest international break in fine fettle. The European champions top the Premier League with 26 points from 11 games and are also on the verge of securing a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. They also face a trip to Brentford in the quarter-finals of the League Cup and will have high hopes of winning at least one more trophy this season.
However, Tuchel is still looking for further reinforcements in the January window as he looks to strengthen his options.
And as per Marca, via the Daily Star, director Marina Granovskaia is closing on a couple of signings ahead of January. They state the Blues are looking to sign one of Matthijs De Ligt or Jules Kounde to increase defensive competition.
Kounde was one of the most sought-after stars in the summer window and remains Tuchel’s No 1 priority. Chelsea are understandably keen, though Sevilla’s strong bargaining position makes a deal look tough. Indeed, the Spanish side are only willing to sell if Kounde’s £68.7m release clause is met – something Chelsea are currently unwilling to do.
Kounde was allegedly left upset at the potential move breaking down. Now, speaking to French television station TF1, Kounde has confirmed those suspicions.
While on international duty with France, the defender admitted: “Has my failed transfer to Chelsea this summer affected me? Yes, a little bit, but now it’s digested.”
However, the Blues have also seemingly made headway for De Ligt, with Juventus vulnerable to his sale.
A move for the Dutchman could yet be sanctioned were Sevilla continue to dig in their heels over Kounde.
The Blues are also looking to sign Lorenzo Insigne in the new year to beef up Tuchel’s squad.
Insigne has been a Napoli player for his entire professional career – except for a few formative loan spells.
However, with the winger in the final year of his contract, there’s a growing feeling a parting of ways could occur.
Talks are continuing to try and reach common ground, with Insigne also wanting proof of Napoli’s ambition before signing.
Amid the standstill, Insigne will be able to negotiate with clubs outside Italy over a pre-contract agreement from January. And Chelsea are the obvious candidates to step in and sign the 30-year-old on a bargain deal.
Rudiger tipped to sign Chelsea extension
The third deal of the winter window could well prove the most significant. As such, claims Antonio Rudiger is now ready to pen an extension will be much welcomed by Tuchel.
The German has become a bedrock of the Chelsea side, forming a solid partnership with Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva as part of a back three. They have helped Edouard Mendy to keep six clean sheets in 10 Premier League games so far this campaign.
With his deal expiring next June, several big hitters are looking to pounce. Indeed, the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are both reportedly registering their interest.
Monday’s il Gazzetta dello Sport also reports that Inter Milan are considering a move for Rudiger. However, Rudiger’s financial demands are ‘way beyond what is allowed’ at Inter, according to the paper.
Instead, he could now reportedly commit to fresh terms at Stamford Bridge.
That’s certainly something Rudiger himself pointed towards on Sunday when discussing his future.
“For now I am only concentrating on what is happening right now. I owe that to the club, the coach and the team.”
On a potential return to the Bundesliga, Rudiger was giving little away.
“I’m currently only focused on Chelsea. We’ll see what happens,” he concluded.
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