Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell after convincing the RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner to join this summer.
With Werner close to completing a £53m move after agreeing terms on a five-year deal on Thursday, Frank Lampard is keen to continue rebuilding and is determined to make Chilwell his left-back. Lampard is a huge admirer of the England international and has urged the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to push for his signature.
It is understood Chelsea have started talks with Leicester. Although Chilwell is interested in joining, Chelsea are aware that making the transfer happen will not be easy. Leicester, third in the Premier League, are likely to demand at least £60m for the 23-year-old, who has a contract to 2024.
Leicester, who sold Harry Maguire to Manchester United for £85m last summer, are strong negotiators. It is believed Chelsea would prefer to pay £45m for Chilwell – a figure likely to fall short of the valuation.
Lampard, who has not been convinced by Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri at left-back, may have to look elsewhere. Ajax’s Nicolás Tagliafico, available for £22.4m, is an alternative.
Leicester are prepared to sell one key player this summer. James Maddison is unlikely to leave but there is interest in Caglar Soyuncu, Wilfried Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira.
It is clear Chelsea, who are waiting to welcome the Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech, mean business after Lampard was hamstrung by a transfer embargo following the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid last summer. They have moved clear of Liverpool in the race to sign Werner, whose release clause expires on 15 June, and Lampard is ready to shift some squad members.
Emerson is a target for Internazionale and Juventus, who are also interested in Jorginho, and Alonso’s position is vulnerable. There are doubts over the futures of Ross Barkley, Michy Batshuayi and Tiémoué Bakayoko, while Pedro and Willian are yet to extend deals that run out on 30 June.
Chelsea are interested in re-signing Nathan Aké, who left for Bournemouth in 2017. The versatile defender could be available more cheaply if Eddie Howe’s struggling side are relegated.
Chelsea are also monitoring the Brentford winger Saïd Benrahma. The Algerian could be available for £15m.