Who are the defensive targets on Thomas Tuchel’s shortlist this summer?

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Jul 04, 2022, 11:34

With it finally confirmed last week that Romelu Lukaku has made an almost immediate return to Inter Milan on a season-long loan, many are expecting what could be a hectic summer at Chelsea.

Now under new leadership at Stamford Bridge after Todd Boehly’s takeover was announced back in May, the American businessman has been quick to stamp down his authority.

Almost clearing house among the Chelsea hierarchy, it looks like Thomas Tuchel has been handed quite the treasure chest and the chance to add some more star names over the coming weeks.

With it looking like Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling could be heading to west London ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, it is no secret that Tuchel is desperate to add some defensive reinforcements.

Watching both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger leave Stamford Bridge on free transfers, we have taken a look at some of the central defensive stars who have been linked with a move to Chelsea.

Jules Koundé – Sevilla

With it finally confirmed that Christensen and Rudiger would be leaving west London this summer, it was no surprise to many that the former Borussia Dortmund boss would reignite his interest in Jules Koundé.

Heavily linked with a move for Sevilla’s defensive talisman over the past 12 months and with it looking like the two sides were close to agreeing on a deal back in January, Chelsea appear keen on not missing out this time.

With The Daily Mail reporting over the weekend that the Blues are still in talks over a potential swoop this summer, it has also been suggested that the French international has his heart set on a move away.

However, while the 23-year-old has been at the top of Tuchel’s wishlist over the past year, it has been suggested that the Premier League giants could have a battle on their hands to clinch Koundé’s signature.

Along with continuing in talks over a potential move for Leeds’ Raphinha – a player that Chelsea had a £55million offer accepted for last week – The Metro are reporting that Barcelona are inching closer towards a deal for Koundé.

Matthijs de Ligt – Juventus

While it might have appeared over recent months that Koundé is at the top of Tuchel’s wishlist this summer, Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as one of the other key names.

Although the Old Lady might have made it clear that they hope the ex-Ajax skipper will put pen to paper on a new deal in Turin, Sky Sports announced last week that Chelsea have opened talks over a potential blockbuster move.

With many billing the 22-year-old as one of the best central defenders from across Europe, the Dutch ace has a £103m (€120m) release clause in his current contract with the Italian giants.

Continuing in discussions over the weekend and with some around Stamford Bridge believing that they can strike a deal over the coming days, it has also been suggested that Tuchel is willing to allow one of his stars to head in the other direction.

Believing that De Ligt could be the perfect man to come in and play alongside Thiago Silva, The Sun reported last week that Chelsea would be willing to include Christian Pulisic or Timo Werner in any deal.

Presnel Kimpembe – PSG

With Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano stating over the weekend that PSG have made it clear that Presnel Kimpembe could be allowed to leave this summer, it appears that the 26-year-old won’t be short of options.

With Kimpembe’s current deal at the French heavyweights due to expire in just two year’s time, it has been suggested that the French international is not keen on signing an extension.

Following the suggestion that Tuchel could have his sights set on adding more than one new central defensive option to his ranks this summer, Foot Mercato are reporting that PSG have made their stance clear.

It has been suggested that the Parisians will demand a fee in the region of €50million if they’re to allow Kimpembe to make the move to Stamford Bridge.

Making 220 appearances since breaking into PSG’s first-team in 2015, their homegrown talent is also someone that is known to Tuchel. The pair spent two years working together during the 48-year-old’s stay in the French capital between 2018 and 2020.

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