Rumour: Chelsea edging closer to sign £25m rated defender Victor Lindelof
Chelsea have set their sights on signing Benfica’s central defender Victor Lindelof, according to reports from The Mirror. The player has a £25m release clause in his current contract.
The Blues may have accepted defeat in their pursuit of Leonardo Bonucci and Kalidou Koulibaly after being priced out of the deal but Antonio Conte is keen to bring a dominant defender to Stamford Bridge this summer which now sees him linked with the 22-year old Swede ahead of the new EPL season.
Lindelof enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with Benfica last season and made 26 appearances. His impressive displays have already caught the attention of many big teams in Europe.
Swedish newspaper Afton Bladet claims that Manchester United tried to sign him last summer but their £20m bid was soon rebuffed stating that he was not for sale. However, an impressive 2015/16 season saw Lindelof being awarded a new contract which has a £25m release clause attached to it. Chelsea have identified the young defender as the best possible option to buy this summer and are weighing up a sizable bid for the defender. Lindelof is contracted until 2020 with the Portuguese side and will be allowed to leave the club if any side triggers his £25m release clause.
Chelsea have so far signed Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante with the incoming manager Antonio Conte keen to add to his squad at Stamford Bridge this summer.
In his first press conference as the Chelsea boss, Conte had said: "I am also sure that soon we will buy maybe one, two or three players. Players that can reinforce us for the season as it will be very, very tough.
“We must take a player who can adapt to our idea of football, to our philosophy.
“It's not right to say the names, no because these players are now at other teams.
“I don't like that other managers or other clubs speak about my players. I don't like to speak the same.”
Chelsea are eager to get the signings done before the start of next season with Victor Lindelof being their key target. John Terry’s age and Gary Cahill’s inconsistency have left Conte no other option but to invest in defensive areas this summer.
Victor Lindelof is a powerful defender who loves to dominate the ball in both the boxes. His reading of games and ability to make crucial interceptions make him an asset for his teams. Conte wants to sign the 22-year old and get him involved in the first team before Chelsea take on West Ham in their first game of next season on August 16.