Chelsea transfer: Maresca wants Man City star as shock first signing in £20m deal after previous fail

Joe Williams
Chelsea transfer target James McAtee
James McAtee has been linked with a move to Chelsea.

New Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca is looking to make Man City attacking midfielder James McAtee his first signing, according to reports.

The Blues will announce the arrival of Maresca as their new manager from Leicester City on Monday with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirming the deal

Romano wrote on X on Monday morning: “Enzo Maresca will be announced today as new Chelsea manager. All contracts are signed, also staff included. Deal valid until June 2029, with club option until June 2030. Leicester City will receive €10m compensation for Maresca + extra for staff. Here we go, confirmed.”

The Italian, who until last summer was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Man City, has guided the Foxes back into the Premier League at the first time of asking following their relegation 12 months ago.

That, and the style of football with which he achieved it, has impressed the Chelsea hierarchy who had been looking for a successor to Mauricio Pochettino after they parted ways after just one season.

Brentford’s Thomas Frank and Kieran McKenna, who got Ipswich promoted from the Sky Bet Championship behind Leicester, were also apparent contenders for the role.

And now Maresca can get on with planning for next season with The Sun claiming that the Italian wants to make Man City starlet McAtee his first signing in the Stamford Bridge hotseat.

The England under-21 international spent last season on loan at relegated Sheffield United with the attacker impressing in spells before seeing less football in the second half of the season.

McAtee contributed three goals and three assists in 30 appearances for the Blades in his second season at Bramall Lane after helping them to Championship promotion in the previous campaign.

There is a feeling that McAtee will be more effective in a team that has more possession of the football with the Blades regularly having 30 per cent possession or less last term.

It is understood that new Chelsea boss Maresca wants to launch a £20m bid for McAtee, who he attempted to sign on loan last summer when Leicester were in the Championship.

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They are also closing in on signing of Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo on a free transfer with Chelsea about to beat Newcastle United to his signature.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Chelsea are about to sign a new centre-back with the free transfer of Tosin Adarabioyo. A verbal agreement has been reached, and documents will be signed next week after his medical tests if everything goes to plan.

“Newcastle were close to signing the defender, who is a free agent after deciding to leave Fulham, but the deal was never done. They were one step away, but it was never a done deal in terms of things being signed, it was just advanced talks. Chelsea have been able to convince him on their long term project, the vision, and Enzo Maresca’s ideas were also shared during their conversations.

“So, Adarabioyo has accepted their proposal as deal will be completed next week. It looks like smart business by Chelsea, in my opinion, as they sign a proven Premier League player on a free, someone with experience but not old, so a good long-term option and a smart first signing for new manager Enzo Maresca. There was interest from a lot of other clubs, not just Newcastle – back in January AC Milan were also showing an interest, and also other clubs around Europe.

“Chelsea are also internally discussing the goalkeeper position, and also deciding if they maybe want another centre-back, as well as a central striker. I can also say that a new winger is a possibility, and it may be worth returning on the Michael Olise case in the next days, because he’s a player appreciated by Chelsea for sure. But I can also say that Chelsea have been closely monitoring Crysencio Summerville.

“Summerville has just had a fantastic season in the Championship, with Leeds unlucky in their race for promotion as they lost the playoff final to Southampton, and now Summerville is expected to change clubs this summer. Two clubs have been monitoring him more than others, and they are Chelsea and Liverpool.

“The interest is really concrete from these two clubs – let’s see what they decide to do in terms of negotiations because we are not yet at that stage, and let’s see if other clubs decide to join the race, but for sure Summerville looks like one to watch for Chelsea and Liverpool.”

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