Chelsea 'working on thrilling double transfer' and eye swap deals to bring down £118m cost

CHELSEA have two defenders in their sights as Thomas Tuchel looks to resurrect a frustrating summer.


Posted Monday, August 01, 2022 by Express.co.uk

Chelsea are simultaneously working on two blockbuster defensive deals with their return to Premier League action less than a week away. Reports indicate that Leicester City's Wesley Fofana and Inter Milan's Denzel Dumfries are both in the crosshairs as Thomas Tuchel bids to build a new back-line, which has been rocked by a number of exits over the past few weeks.

The Blues have endured their fair share of transfer frustration this summer due to the slow process of replenishing their defence. The departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will be painfully felt unless top-class replacements are signed, particularly with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso both linked to Barcelona.

Chelsea have now shifted focus to Fofana and Dumfries, who The Athletic claim are both of serious interest to Tuchel and Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. Leicester want up to £85million for the former and Inter will supposedly demand £33.6m for the latter.

As such, the Blues are looking to bring swap deal options to the table in the hope of driving down the price on both fronts.

It remains to be seen which Blues stars will be put on the chopping block but the likes of Timo Werner, Levi Colwill, Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja are all linked with moves elsewhere. Werner is supposedly part of an existing swap proposal with RB Leipzig involving another defensive target in Josko Gvardiol.

Fofana could be mightily difficult to prise away from the Foxes given that he has a long-term contract and boss Brendan Rodgers rates him highly. The 21-year-old centre-back may also feel as though he has unfinished business at the King Power Stadium after missing the majority of last season through injury.

Dumfries, meanwhile, has established himself as one of Europe's most exciting full-backs, notching five goals and four assists in his first campaign with Inter Milan. Chelsea could be in a strong position to pounce with the Nerazzurri in need of cash after their talks to sell Milan Skriniar to Paris Saint-Germain broke down.

While the need for new faces at the back is beyond debate, the urgency of Tuchel's defensive recruitment drive will depend, in part, on the future of club captain Azpilicueta. Barca have been heavily linked with a cut-price deal for the 32-year-old, who is thought to be keen on the move, but the Chelsea boss recently revealed that he may block the switch after the Catalan side stole Jules Kounde from under his nose.

Chelsea 'working on thrilling double transfer' and eye swap deals to bring down £118m cost
Wesley Fofana and Denzel Dumfries both have admirers at Chelsea

"I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants," said Tuchel. "I made the comparison about how much we fought for Kalidou Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age. I see [Azpilicueta] maybe at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him on that level.

"I said that to him that I understand on a personal and a career level. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what’s best for Chelsea. He doesn’t like it but he understands."

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