Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has been warned that signing a world-class centre-back this summer is going to be a tricky task. The Blues are staring at a contractual crisis in defence and are therefore likely to be in the market for new additions in the summer transfer window.
As things stand, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all set to leave the club on free transfers when their deals expire on July 1.
Chelsea are still working on contracts for Rudiger and Christensen, but both players are receiving interest from European clubs.
Rudiger is reportedly seeking around £200,000 per week to extend his Chelsea stay amid interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
Christensen has delayed signing a new Chelsea deal and been strongly linked with Barcelona and Bayern.
Meanwhile, Azpilicueta has refused to comment on his future recently and looks increasingly likely to bring to an end his 10-year stay with the club to join Barca on a free transfer in July.
Chelsea are therefore desperate to sign new defenders this summer, with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde a possible target following an unsuccessful attempt to sign him in the summer.
However, a fresh report from AS says Thomas Tuchel has demanded the signing of Real Madrid’s Eder Militao.
The centre-back cost Real £41million from Porto back in 2019 and is under contract until June 2025.
The Brazilian is happy in the Spanish capital and is a regular under Carlo Ancelotti, meaning the pursuit may prove difficult for transfer chief Granovskaia.
Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson recognises the urgency to bring in new defenders, but has warned his old club it won’t be easy.
“It’s always hard for a player to leave Real Madrid, particularly if you’re playing every week. It’s obviously a massive, iconic club,” he told Bettingodds.com.
“So I think if Eder Militao is playing and he continues to do well then I think it’d be hard for Chelsea to prise him away. I do, however, think it’s a player that would help Chelsea out.”
Chelsea have already signed veteran centre-back Thiago Silva up to a new one-year contract, while Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr have broken through into the first-team this season.
However, if Rudiger, Azpilicueta and Christensen all leave for free in July, the need for fresh faces would be obvious.
“I do think defensive reinforcements are a priority for Chelsea in the summer, even more so if they don’t sort out the two situations with Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen,” Johnson added.
“They either need to sign them both up to new deals, or at least secure one of them and bring in somebody else.
“Something needs to happen. You can’t have two players walk out and your best defender being a 37-year-old.”