Chelsea invested heavily in their defense earlier in the summer but are ready to enter the transfer market for a defender once again.
According to Football London, the Blues have joined the race to sign RB Leipzig’s talented defender Dayot Upamecano. The Frenchman has been generating interest from around Europe with a string of impressive performances and Chelsea are among a host of Premier League sides monitoring him.
Upamecano made the move to Leipzig from RB Salzburg in January 2017 and soon became a permanent feature of the Bundesliga side’s backline. He has turned into one of the standout defenders in the Bundesliga in recent seasons and also impressed in the UEFA Champions League last season. The Frenchman reportedly has a £40m release clause, which is set to come into effect at the end of the current campaign.
However, the Blues might face severe competition to secure his services. Arsenal have held talks with the Frenchman previously, while Manchester United have been linked with him too. Liverpool are also monitoring Upamecano on the back of their recent defensive woes. As such, even though Chelsea might be willing to trigger the Frenchman’s release clause, bringing him to Stamford Bridge will be no easy task.
RB Leipzig remain eager to keep Upamecano at the club but might be powerless to stop his departure once the season ends. The Frenchman’s current contract expires in the summer of 2023.
Upamecano could be the final piece of the Chelsea puzzle
Chelsea have backed Frank Lampard heavily in the summer, with the London side eager to get back to their heydays. However, even though the rebuilding at Stamford Bridge has looked exciting, the Blues are yet to fulfill the massive expectations they had generated at the start of the season. Lampard’s side are currently ninth in the league, seven points off the top.
If Manchester United win their game in hand in midweek, Chelsea could find themselves ten points adrift of the league leaders. Lampard has endured three defeats in their last five games and perhaps a defensive reinforcement might be the need of the day. With doubts over the futures of Fikayo Tomori, Antonio Rudiger, and Andreas Christiansen, the Englishman might not be averse to investing in Upamecano in the future.
The Frenchman certainly has the ability to excel at Stamford Bridge and could also be the long-term replacement for Thiago Silva. Upamecano could even be the final piece of Lampard’s jigsaw, provided Chelsea do manage to secure his services.
Published 10 Jan 2021, 19:56 IST