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"Thomas Tuchel is in love with this player" - Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea have 20-year-old star as 'option number one' on the list 

Thomas Tuchel is in pursuit of a centre-back this summer.
Thomas Tuchel is in pursuit of a centre-back this summer.
Debkalpa Banerjee

Chelsea have reportedly identified RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol as the club's "number one" defensive target in the ongoing transfer window, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

The Blues are currently in the market for a defender after the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, on free transfers. Earlier, the club signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for a fee in the region of £34 million.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano claimed that the west London outfit are currently monitoring two other targets. He said:

"Gvardiol is one of the top names on the list — Thomas Tuchel is in love with this player. Let me say that he's option number one in the list, but as of today, the situation on Leipzig's side is still the same — they have no intention at all to sell Gvardiol this summer. So, it’s going to be more than complicated."
Chelsea made a new attempt to sign Josko Gvardiol in a swap deal with Werner on loan, but RB Leipzig have still no intention to sell him. More possibilities will be discussed. 🔵 #CFCFofana, top target but Leicester want to keep him.Pavard, backup option as reported days ago.

He added:

"For Fofana, it's difficult, but you can negotiate. For Gvardiol, it's not even the case. He's considered untouchable by Leipzig, so Chelsea would need a miracle to sign Gvardiol. At the moment, it's more than difficult because Leipzig don't want to sell the player. But Chelsea tried, and let's see if something can happen."

Gvardiol, who has four years left on his current deal at the Red Bull Arena, joined Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb for an initial fee of £13.4 million last summer. During the 2021-22 season, he registered two goals and three assists in a whopping 46 appearances across all competitions.

A strong and quick defender, the 20-year-old is also adept at deputizing at left-back. With Marcos Alonso seemingly on his way out of Stamford Bridge, he is expected to operate both as a left-sided centre-back and a backup left-back if a potential deal goes through.

🤯 Josko Gvardiol made more accurate through balls in the league last season (8) than Reece James, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Malang Sarr and Cesar Azpilicueta COMBINED (7) https://t.co/I1agmVP3Rd

Earlier, Chelsea were in the pursuit of Barcelona's Jules Kounde and Bayern Munich's Matthijs de Ligt but eventually failed. Kounde joined Barcelona, while De Ligt moved to Bayern Munich.

The Blues are scheduled to open their 2022-23 Premier League campaign away from home at Everton on August 6.


Chelsea eyeing a move for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana

According to Football London, new Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has made contact with Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana's representatives. The report also added that the Blues are considering a a £75 million double swoop for him and veteran striker Jamie Vardy.

Fofana, who joined the Foxes from Saint-Etienne for a fee of £36.5 million, has made 50 appearances across all competitions since his arrival in the summer of 2020. The 21-year-old, who is a France U21 international, has helped his club register 17 clean sheets in the process.

He missed almost the entire 2021-22 season due to a fracture.


Edited by Puranjay Dixit

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