Chelsea ‘prepare opening bid’ for Hazard-like wonderkid as Pulisic edges closer to AC Milan

Jason Soutar
Reported Chelsea target Rayan Cherki during a match between PSG and Lyon.
Reported Chelsea target Rayan Cherki during a match between PSG and Lyon.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea are planning to make an opening offer for Lyon winger Rayan Cherki, according to reports.

The 19-year-old has scored an impressive five goals in 12 appearances for France’s Under-21 side and is currently worth €30million (£25.5million), as per Transfermarkt.

He has caught the eye of several big clubs after a solid 2022/23 campaign with Lyon before a good showing at this summer’s U21 European Championships.

Cherki scored his side’s only goal in their shock 5-1 defeat to Ukraine in the quarter-final of the competition.

It is safe to say he is destined for big things and should become a mainstay in France’s senior team in the not-so-distant future.

The teenage winger’s flashy and skillful style of play has seen him draw comparisons to Chelsea legend Eden Hazard, which is fitting because the Blues want to sign him this summer.

TEAMtalk reported earlier this month that Cherki is ‘pushing’ to join Chelsea, who signed right-back Malo Gusto from Lyon in the winter window, though he spent the rest of 22/23 with the French club.

And now ESPN say the Blues are ‘preparing an opening offer’ to sign the ‘wonderkid’ as they chase a replacement for AC Milan-bound Christian Pulisic.

Cherki is ‘one of the targets’ to replace the American international, while Montpellier striker Elye Wahi ‘is also on the club’s list’.

Under contract until 2025, Lyon value their attacker at €40m (£34m), which is a pretty respectable fee in this day and age.

The Ligue 1 club need to sell to raise funds and the report said they rejected a January bid from Paris Saint-Germain for Cherki despite being ‘open’ to selling the player.

Cherki would fit Chelsea’s recent policy of signing young players and his versatility – plus his ability to use both feet – makes him a very desirable player to have.

Meanwhile, it has been broadly reported that Pulisic will undergo his Milan medical in the next 24 hours.

Sky Sports Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg said on Tuesday night that the American winger is ‘on his way’ to Italy from his home country.

The Rossoneri will complete medical tests and announce the signing on Wednesday, Plettenberg claims.

Chelsea have been incredibly busy in the opening month of the summer transfer window, selling several first-team players in order to drastically reduce Mauricio Pochettino’s squad size.

Although Pochettino is yet to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku, it would appear Todd Boehly is willing to buy Cherki.

Even if all four of those players are sold this summer, Chelsea will still have Nicolas Jackson, Raheem Sterling, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Christopher Nkunku, Armando Broja and Noni Madueke.

Boehly is simply addicted to signing attackers. There is no other logic behind this.

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