Touted Manchester United and Chelsea transfer switch makes unnerving amount of sense

Steven Chicken
Trevoh Chalobah
Trevoh Chalobah enjoyed a good end to the season

Manchester United could exploit Chelsea’s willingness to sell some of their academy products by pursuing a relatively affordable move for centre-back Trevoh Chalobah.

The Independent’s Miguel Delaney writes that the Chelsea academy youth product would be available for around £25m. Selling academy graduates would be particularly helpful to their profit and sustainability standing, as there would be no amortised transfer fee to offset any fee received; or, in other words, it would go down as pure net profit for accounting purposes, baby.

Trevoh Chalobah move to Manchester United may be right for all

On the other side of the table, you may have noticed that Manchester United are short on both quality and depth at centre-back and have been forced to field players inappropriate for the position, like Casemiro or [insert your least favourite Manchester United centre-back here].

With Raphael Varane off on his merry way, that leaves the position in need of recruitment – so Chelsea’s need to sell could match up quite nicely with United’s need to buy. That’s more or less how transfers work, we supposed.

Chelsea had previously hoped that Chalobah might develop into a ball-playing midfielder, and sent him out on loan to Huddersfield Town in 2019/20 with the express purpose of getting him minutes in that role.

However, he has pretty firmly established himself as a centre-back and occasional right-back now, and enjoyed something of a breakout season in 2021/22 following another loan at French side Lorient.

Injury kept Chalobah out of action for the entire first half of the season just finished, but he returned to action in February and worked his way back into Mauricio Pochettino’s starting line-up, with his re-introduction to the side coinciding with Chelsea finally discovering some form and lifting themselves up to sixth place in the table.

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Pochettino said after Chalobah’s return to action: ‘We are so happy because he was suffering. He was really fit in pre-season and he was playing the most until in Washington, against Fulham, he felt something in his quad.

“Then started the torture because it was one thing after another. ‘After eight months he had the possibility to play to help the team. I am so happy for him because he was sad during a long period when he was injured.”

While Chalobah would be unlikely to be viewed as a marquee signing for United, at 24 years old could make a very useful squad option.

Midfielder Connor Gallagher has long been reported as being up for sale alongside Chalobah.