Chelsea ‘step up talks’ for Marcus Thuram as brother emerges as Enzo alternative

Date published: Sunday 8th January 2023 11:33 - Will Ford

Marcus Thuram, Borussia Monchengladbach, November 2022

Chelsea have reportedly ‘stepped up talks’ over a deal for Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram.

The Blues are on the lookout for a new striker in January following the season-ending injury to Armando Broja and amid the poor form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Thuram, who signed for Gladbach in 2019 from French outfit Guingamp, has been in stunning form this term as he has grabbed ten goals and three assists in 15 Bundesliga outings.

The 25-year-old, who provided two assists for France as the European side reached the final of the World Cup, is likely to leave the German outfit in the coming months as he is out of contract in the summer.

It’s claimed Thuram is keen on staying at Gladbach until the summer, when he will be available for free, but the German side are said to have made him available for ‘as little as £6m’ this month.

Fabrizio Romano claimed on Saturday that Chelsea have ‘opened talks to explore a January deal for Thuram’.

The Blues are ‘exploring conditions’ but the 25-year-old is being considered by ‘many top clubs’ this month.

It is said that Thuram ‘will take his time and consider all the options’ before he decides where to go next.

And now the Daily Mail claim they have ‘stepped up’ their pursuit to get the deal over the line.

The report also claims that Chelsea are interested in Marcus’ brother Khephren, 21, who has made 113 appearances in midfield for Nice since joining them from Monaco.

He could be an alternative to Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, who was thought to be on the move to Stamford Bridge.

But that transfer has ground to a halt with the Portuguese side unhappy with the Blues’ tactics, which saw them insist they would pay his £106m release clause before reneging on that agreement having had Fernandez push for the exit.

Benfica boss Roger Schmidt condemned Chelsea over their “disrespectful” approach.

Schmidt said: “There’s a club who want our player. They know we don’t want to sell the player.

“They tried to get the player on their side and they know they only can get this player when they pay the clause. So it’s a very clear situation…

“What the club is doing who wants to buy Enzo is disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica and I cannot accept what they are doing. So to make the player crazy and then to pretend they can pay the clause and later they want to negotiate…

“I think it is not what I understand about a good relationship between clubs who maybe want to discuss about the player.”

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