Chelsea miss out on signing defender on free transfer despite holding ‘concrete talks’: Reports 

Thomas Tuchel is set to miss out on the experienced German
Thomas Tuchel is set to miss out on the experienced German

Chelsea look set to miss out on versatile RB Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg, who is close to agreeing a new deal at the Red Bull Arena.

Thomas Tuchel's Blues are in stark need of defensive reinforcements, with centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen having left as free agents.

Rudiger has joined UEFA Champions League winners and La Liga champions Real Madrid. Christensen, meanwhile, is waiting to be registered at their fierce rivals Barcelona this summer.

There remains uncertainty over the futures of club-captain Cesar Azpilicueta and left-back Marcos Alonso.

Fabrizio Romano reports Alonso is eyeing a move to Barcelona whilst ESPN claim Azpilicueta wants to join him at the Nou Camp.

A huge defensive overhaul is therefore anticipated at Stamford Bridge and one of the names that has been linked is Halstenberg.

The 30-year-old's versatility could have been hugely beneficial to Thomas Tuchel as he can play both as a centre-back and as a left-back. However, Marc Behrenbeck reports that the German defender will secure a new three-year deal with RB Leipzig, ending any interest from Chelsea.

The Blues reportedly held concrete talks over signing Halstenberg as a free agent but he looks set to remain in the Bundesliga side.

Halstenberg has made 199 appearances for Leipzig, scoring 14 goals and contributing 23 assists since joining from FC St.Pauli in 2015.

Chelsea look to sign Marcel Halstenberg's RB Leipzig teammate Josko Gvardiol

Josko Gvardiol could be headed to Stamford Bridge
Josko Gvardiol could be headed to Stamford Bridge

Another RB Leipzig defender who continues to be linked with a move to Chelsea this summer is Josko Gvardiol. The 20-year-old Croat has had a fine season at the Red Bull Arena, making 46 appearances, scoring two goals and contributing three assists.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are the frontrunners for Gvardiol but face competition from their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Now under Todd Boehly's new ownership following a £4.25 billion takeover, the Blues are set to spend big this summer.

Gvardiol doesn't have a release clause at Leipzig and the Bundesliga side are expected to drive a hard bargain for the impressive centre-back.

Transfermarkt values the Croat at £27 million but Chelsea can expect to pay more with Leipzig keen to hold on to the centre-back. The defender has four years left to run on his current deal with the German side having only joined the club last summer from Dinamo Zagreb.

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Edited by Puranjay
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