Chelsea ‘broadly agree’ to sign ‘unusual’ star as ‘door opens’ for Villa to buy £35m defender

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea-linked Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran celebrates his goal
Chelsea target Jhon Duran celebrates his goal.

According to reports, Chelsea have a ‘broad agreement’ in place to sign Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran in a deal that could be worth around £40m.

One of Chelsea‘s leading priorities during this summer’s transfer window is to sign a new striker to compete with Nicolas Jackson.

Eight forwards are understood to be on their radar, with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Sporting Lisbon’s Viktor Gyokeres among the most expensive options.

Duran is one of their more surprising targets. The 20-year-old is behind Ollie Watkins in the pecking order at Aston Villa, but scored eight goals in his 37 appearances across all competitions.

Since Todd Boehly’s consortium completed its takeover of Chelsea, the Stamford Bridge regime have focused on signing up-and-coming talents whose value *should* increase while they are at the club.

The Colombia international fits into this transfer formula and it has been suggested that he could be involved in a swap deal involving Conor Gallagher.

The England midfielder is out of contract in 2025 and his pure profit sale would help to ease Chelsea’s Financial Fair Play problems. The Blues, Villa and four other Premier League clubs ‘must sell’ in the coming weeks to avoid a points deduction for breaching Profit and Sustainability rules.

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According to a report from The Telegraph, Villa and Tottenham Hotspur are ‘interested’ in Gallagher.

As for Duran, it is claimed that Chelsea have been ‘granted permission to discuss personal terms’, while Villa are considering signing a second Blues player.

‘As well as Conor Gallagher, Villa have enquired about left-back Ian Maatsen, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund. He has a £35 million release clause in his contract that Dortmund are not willing to meet, which has opened the door to Villa and other interested clubs.

‘But Villa will only sign players from Chelsea this summer if Duran completes a move to Stamford Bridge and the west London club are currently discussing personal terms and carrying out background checks on the Colombian.

‘It is believed that a deal between the two clubs for Duran, which could be worth up to £40 million, is broadly agreed, but there are still hurdles to overcome.

‘Chelsea would want to put 20-year-old Duran on a long, incentivised contract, rather than putting him straight on big wages and they also want to be sure over his character.

‘Duran has a reputation of being an unusual character, although Villa sources insist he has never missed training and is not considered to be a so-called ‘bad lad’. Villa manager Unai Emery has been forced to agree to sell him.’

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