Chelsea reportedly want to ‘gatecrash the race’ for Jude Bellingham as Todd Boehly ‘attempts to make inroads’ with the teenager’s camp.
Reports in the last weeks and months have surrounded the future of the England international, whose performances for Borussia Dortmund have caught the eye of European giants wanting to secure his signing next summer.
It’s thought it will cost interested parties £130m to steal him away from the Bundesliga side, with Liverpool and Real Madrid rumoured to have made the most ground.
But The Telegraph claim the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership ‘have already attempted to make inroads into the Bellingham camp’, with Boehly believing ‘Chelsea have enough time to make a serious play’ for the 19-year-old.
Chelsea are aware that Liverpool and Madrid are vying for pole position but are looking to ‘gatecrash the race’ (not that it’s possible to gatecrash a race) and are ‘attempting to muscle their way’ alongside the pair ‘at the front of the queue’.
Boehly, who is still acting as the club’s sporting director, is ‘making enquiries’ and hopes to ‘foster key relationships’ with Bellingham’s representatives and the Dortmund bosses.
Liverpool and Madrid ‘have already spent months doing that’ and Manchester City lurk in the background as a very real threat.
Bellingham could well be seen by the Chelsea bosses as a long-term replacement for either N’Golo Kante or Jorginho, both of whom are out of contract this summer.
The Blues are said to have offered Kante a deal of two years plus the option of a further year, but the France international is said to be holding out for three plus one, which he was set to be offered by the previous regime.
The club are also debating whether to offer Jorginho an extension, but it’s likely at least one of them won’t be at Stamford Bridge next season.
Should they lose the race for Bellingham, the report states that his England midfield partner Declan Rice remains ‘on the club’s radar’.
Apart from midfield, Chelsea are looking at RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku and will also consider signing a new goalkeeper.
First choice Edouard Mendy has already turned down at least one offer of an extension and his form this season has raised questions over whether the club should be looking for alternatives.