Chelsea started their Champions League campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday. The Blues had to rely on a 69th-minute header from Romelu Lukaku to secure all three points. The Belgian striker now has four goals in four games for the London side.
Meanwhile, off the field, Chelsea will have to pay £100 million to secure their top midfield target for next summer. The Blues are planning to offload a defender who is highly rated by Thomas Tuchel as well.
On that note, here's a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on 15th September 2021.
Chelsea have to pay £100 million for Declan Rice
The West Ham United star has become one of the finest defensive midfielders in Europe, and enjoyed a flawless outing at Euro 2020. Despite failing to guide England to the coveted trophy, Rice earned rave reviews for his performances to endear himself to the Blues.
Chelsea had released the player when he was young, a mistake that must haunt them to this day. However, the Blues are ready to make amends by bringing him back to Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel is spoilt for choice in the middle of the park, and has already brought in Saul Niguez on loan this summer. The London side’s interest in Rice could depend on the Spaniard’s performance this season.
The Englishman is also wanted by Manchester United and Manchester City. However, Rice’s current contract runs until the summer of 2024, so the Hammers are under no pressure to sell him.
The player himself wants to stay at the London Stadium, and West Ham United are not looking to budge from their £100 million valuation of the player.
Blues to offload Antonio Rudiger in January
The German defender has become a pivotal figure at Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel. However, Rudiger has already entered the final 12 months of his current contract, and talks of an extension have not been fruitful so far.
Chelsea will continue negotiations for a new deal with Rudiger. But if they fail to do so, they'll attempt to cash in on the German in January. Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are interested in Rudiger.
Chelsea to integrate Conor Gallagher into the first team next season
Chelsea are planning to give Conor Gallagher a chance to fight for his place in the first eleven next season, according to The Express via Eurosport.
The 21-year-old joined Crystal Palace on loan this summer, and has enjoyed a blistering start to life at Selhurst Park. Gallagher already has two goals and an assist since joining the Eagles, so the Blues are delighted with his progress.
Chelsea will hope the Englishman would show similar form at Stamford Bridge next season. They remain optimistic about Gallagher breaking into Thomas Tuchel’s team.