Chelsea eye 'next Kylian Mbappe', make contact with Ligue 1 side over €40m deal - Reports

Blues manager Thomas Tuchel could look to sign another forward
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel could look to sign another forward
Anantaajith Ra

Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Stade Reims forward Hugo Ekitike. It is worth noting that Ekitike is also on the radar of fellow Premier League side Newcastle United.

According to Football London, the Blues have made contact with the Ligue 1 outfit about a potential move for the teenager. The deal could cost Thomas Tuchel's side around €40 million. It remains to be seen whether they will move for Ekitike in the ongoing transfer window or in the summer.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Reims this term. Ekitike has netted eight goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances this season while also laying out three assists. He has been dubbed the "next Kylian Mbappe" in France and his exploits have helped his team climb up to 14th in the French top flight.

Who is Hugo Ekitike? The teenage star linked to Chelsea who wants to emulate Kylian Mbappe…

Ekitike, who was promoted to Reims' first team only at the start of the 2021-22 season, has also netted six goals in 14 games for their B team. He first attracted the English media's attention when reports suggested Newcastle were interested in his signature. However, the Magpies have since brought in Chris Wood from Burnley.

The links to Chelsea are relatively new but make sense on some levels. Record signing Romelu Lukaku and German forward Timo Werner have struggled to score consistently. The likes of Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi are not proven goalscorers either.

Chelsea's Premier League title bid could already be over

The 1-0 reverse against Manchester City on Saturday (15 January) put Chelsea 13 points adrift of the Cityzens after 22 Premier League games. They needed to start stringing together a run of wins to even challenge Pep Guardiola's runaway leaders.

However, the Blues could only pick up a 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday night (18 January). It cut City's lead by a point but they could extend that gap to 15 points by winning their game in hand.

Points are shared at Amex Stadium after an exciting encounter on the south coast 💥#BHACHE

This could effectively end Chelsea's bid for the Premier League title given their concerns in all three areas of the pitch and the Cityzens' unrelenting form. The Blues' focus could now shift to other competitions if they are to pick up any silverware this season.

Chelsea have already reached the Carabao Cup final where they will take on either Liverpool or Arsenal. They have also made it to the fourth round of the FA Cup and have a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie against LOSC Lille.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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