Chelsea have been tipped to be January’s biggest Premier Leaguer spenders with suggestions they could be preparing a £118m double swoop.
Thomas Tuchel made just one signing in the summer when he paid £97.5m to land Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan. The 28-year-old hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge. He netted four goals in 11 games, but he has since picked up an injury. Lukaku suffered an ankle problem against Malmo last month, but he was back on the bench against Juventus.
Chelsea have not struggled to score goals in his absence and in fact have hit 14 goals in the last four Premier League games. And Tuchel is not thought to be looking at adding to his forward line which has scored 30 goals in 12 top-flight matches.
The Express report “Chelsea could be one of the busier clubs in the Premier League” in January. And it’s at the other end of the field where Tuchel is thought to be looking at.
It’s not that the table toppers are struggling in that respect. In fact they have conceded just four goals in the league and have been very impressive defensively.
However, they could well lose Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta at the end of the season.
All four defenders are out of contract in June 2022. Christensen is deep in renewal talks, while Rudiger’s negotiations are believed to have stalled.
Azpilicueta, 32, has yet to receive a new offer, but there is believed to be a new deal in the pipeline. Silva meanwhile, aged 37, may well call time on his career.
It will leave Tuchel with a big hole to fill and adding a new defender “maybe Tuchel’s first point of call in January”.
The defender in question is Jules Kounde. The Sevilla star was wanted by Chelsea in the summer but they refused to pay the £68m asking price.
The LaLiga side are sticking to their guns over the price and Chelsea maybe forced to move quickly in January if rival interest emerges.
Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with taking over in a long-term role. And, according to La Razon, he wants Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Kounde if he takes over as manager.
That may well see Chelsea make their move and although they baulked at £68m in the summer, they may well see that as a worthwhile investment in January with four players out of contract.
Chelsea have assets to sell
The Monaco man is also wanted by Juventus. The Italian news outlet though claims Tchouameni “will almost certainly end up in the Premier League”.
They also claim the Blues have a €60m on the table and personal terms ready to be signed off.
Both players arriving in January for £118m may be a stretch for Marina Granovskaia. But if Tuchel, who has yet to put a foot wrong at Stamford Bridge, asks nicely then maybe his wish will be granted.
Tuchel does have plenty of credit in the bank after delivering the Champions League last season, despite only taking over in January. He also has the club well placed this season, at the top of the Premier League table. Plus they are also through to the Champions League knockout phase again.
Tuchel also has plenty of assets he can trade in.
Ross Barkley, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Christian Pulisic have all been linked with exits and would raise significant funds.