Chelsea are close to winning the race to sign Internazionale’s highly-rated midfielder Cesare Casadei.
Nice have also targeted Casadei, but it is understood Chelsea are pushing to complete the signing of the 19-year-old this week. The Stamford Bridge club have already had two bids rejected for the youngster and are expected to be successful with their third offer, which could be as much as £12million.
The pursuit of Casadei is further evidence of Chelsea’s determination to strengthen the young talent on their books. This summer they have signed 18-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire and have bought 18-year-old midfielder Carney Chuwuemeka from Aston Villa for £20m. They are also interested in Palmeiras prodigy Endrick, although the Brazilian is being courted by many of Europe’s top clubs.
It is unclear whether Chelsea plan for Casadei to break into their first team immediately. Thomas Tuchel has a lot of competition in midfield, so Casadei could be placed in the development squad initially. An alternative would be to send him back on loan to Serie A.
However, Chelsea must make plans to freshen up their midfield options. N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho are both out of contract next year. Kanté excelled in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Sunday, but the 31-year-old Frenchman faces another spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury.
Chelsea are also considering whether to bid for Everton winger Anthony Gordon. Tuchel is interested in Gordon, but Everton are adamant that the 21-year-old is not for sale.
Frank Lampard, the Everton manager, is a huge admirer of the academy product and is determined not to lose him. Newcastle and Tottenham have also targeted Gordon, but his current club want to hand him a new long-term deal this summer.
Chelsea have already spent heavily on their first team this summer, signing Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, but they intend to make more signings. They are pursuing Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana and continue in talks with Barcelona over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong.
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Signing Aubameyang will boost Chelsea’s attacking options following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. The former Arsenal striker, who first moved to Spain in January, had a productive relationship with Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund. Barça, who are trying to complete the signing of Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso, could be forced to sell Aubameyang due to their financial problems.
Barça have spent huge sums on new players this summer and are keen to raise money through sales. However, it remains to be seen whether De Jong is prepared to leave the Nou Camp. Chelsea are hoping to beat Manchester United to the signing of the Dutch midfielder.
Tuchel is looking to rebuild in several positions. Chelsea are also expected to let Callum Hudson-Odoi leave on loan. The winger has interest from Newcastle, Leicester, Southampton and Borussia Dortmund. Several unnamed clubs are also tracking the 21-year-old.