Chelsea hold ‘conversations’ on four centre-back targets as new name on shortlist | Soccer | sport

Chelsea have conversations over four players as Thomas Tuchel looks to add two centre-backs to his squad ahead of the 2022-23 season. As Todd Boehly continues to strengthen his offense, he’s setting the stage for defensive reinforcements this summer.

Chelsea agree deals for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Leeds United’s Raphinha as Tuchel plots a new attack next season. However, he is desperate to answer his defense after the summer outings of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen as free agents.

According fabrice romano, Napoli colossus Kalidou Koulibaly is the latest name to emerge from the shortlist of Les Bleus centre-backs. It also includes Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde – a long-time target – and Man City’s Nathan Ake, who could potentially be included in a package with Sterling.

Inter Milan star Milan Skriniar, who was heavily courted by Paris Saint-Germain this summer, is also on Tuchel’s radar, Di Marzio reports. However, De Ligt and Skriniar’s assessments have prompted Chelsea to turn to Koulibaly, who is out of contract in 2023. And there was contact with the 31-year-old agent in London earlier this week to assess his situation.

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New Chelsea owner Boehly is reportedly ready to back Tuchel with up to six new signings in his first transfer window since buying the club from Roman Abramovich. And it looks like at least four will be in the form of two centre-backs and two forwards.

The Blues’ summer budget is unknown, but Boehly will be keen to take a first dive while working closely with Tuchel on recruitment. He took over the torch of negotiations at the start of the transfer window after the departures of Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech.

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Koulibaly could prove excellent value given he is now north of 30 and entering the final 12 months of his contract. But with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta turning 33 and Thiago Silva turning 38 later this year, it would be surprising if at least one of Tuchel’s centre-backs wasn’t younger.

Kounde was also a prime target last summer but Sevilla’s asking price thwarted Chelsea’s attempts to lure him to west London. Should Barcelona drop out of the race for his signature due to their financial troubles, the Blues could have a clear race against the 23-year-old Frenchman.

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