Report by Nathan Gissing
Chelsea are looking to finish strong in the final month of the transfer window with the club working on various deals; from outgoings to incomings to new contract(s).
Starting with the goalkeeper, where Chelsea have identified Brighton & Hove Albion’s Robert Sanchez as the primary target to provide competition for Kepa Arrizabalaga - as revealed on this site in June.
Sanchez has the recommendation of goalkeeper coach Ben Roberts, who was brought from Brighton to Chelsea under former Chelsea manager Graham Potter.
The role of Roberts has now changed following the departure of Potter, who now overseas a more wider role that includes recruiting.
Sanchez is expected to leave Brighton this summer, after falling out of favour with Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi and was subsequently left out of their US pre-season tour. The 25-year-old could be available for around £20 million this summer.
Onto defence, where Chelsea are set to seal the signing of Monaco defender Axel Disasi for a fee in the region of £38.6 million, and will sign a five-year deal with the option for a further year. The 25-year-old is set to travel to London on Tuesday to undergo his medical.
The Blues first expressed their interest in April after making contact with the representative of Disasi, with Chelsea sporting director Laurence Stewart, formerly of Monaco, being a big fan of the 25-year-old.
Manchester United and Newcastle United also showed concrete interest in the Frenchman, but Chelsea accelerated following the long-term injury to Wesley Fofana, who recently underwent surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.
With the imminent signing of Disasi, this has opened the door to a potential sale for Trevoh Chalobah, with the Blues willing to listen to offers.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have reached an agreement in principle for Levi Colwill to extend his stay until at least 2029.
Colwill returned to Chelsea this summer following a successful loan spell last season at Brighton - and the Seagulls were eager to have him back, who had a £30 million deal rejected earlier this window.
Brighton discussed about the idea of including with Moises Caicedo in a swap deal for Colwilll, but the Blues considered him untouchable.
A dilemma was expected at left-back, but internally it has been decided; Lewis Hall is expected to go on loan this summer, who has seen limited minutes in pre-season.
Chelsea are also open to offers for Marc Cucurella, who only joined permanently from Brighton last summer.
Ian Maatsen, who is predominately known for playing at left-back and was named in the Sky Bet Championship team of the season last year with Burnley, is yet to play in his favoured position, with Pochettino favouring to play him a winger.
The use of versatility that Maatsen provides to the team, is something that has impressed Pochettino, and looks set to be part of the squad for the upcoming season.
Midfield remains a priority for Chelsea as they continue their pursuit for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
The Blues have had four bids rejected to date with the latest offer worth £80 million.
Brighton are refusing to budge on their £100 million price tag. In fact, this was made clear after a meeting took place between Brighton, Caicedo and his agents on Saturday.
It’s also understood the 21-year-old’s former team Independiente del Valle will receive 20% of a future sale.
In the meantime, Chelsea have drawn up a list of options, which includes Leeds’ Tyler Adams and Ajax’s Edson Álvarez as backup plans.
Adams has a loan clause in his contract, following his side’s relegation to the Championship; this means Leeds must automatically accept all loan offers where another club can pay the full player’s wage.
Alvarez, who Chelsea were keen on signing on deadline day last summer, is a name that has appeared again.
It’s understood that based on data, Chelsea feel Alvarez would partner well with Enzo Fernández in midfield.
Andrey Santos, who has impressed in pre-season, is set to stay at Chelsea, despite a host of interested clubs, with Cesare Casadei available to leave on loan.
The saga of Romelu Lukaku continues to drag on, which is neither what both parties want.
Chelsea are struggling to offload the 30-year-old, following his decision to reject Inter, but in recent days, the idea of a swap deal between Romelu Lukaku plus cash for Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic has been discussed as an option.
Chelsea rejected the idea of Vlahovic earlier in the window, as the Blues were not overly keen on signing him.
However, Chelsea are not totally settled with just the signing of striker Nicolas Jackson and the uncertainty of Armando Broja, who could leave Chelsea on loan.
This has made the Blues ponder the idea, as it would help get Lukaku off the books permanently.
Chelsea are also looking to add more creativity in the squad, with Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise seen as a concrete option.
Olise is viewed internally by Chelsea as more of an attacking midfielder than a winger, with personal terms not expected to be a problem.
Olise has three years left on current his deal with Palace.
Meanwhile, Angelo Gabriel, who joined Chelsea this summer in a €15 million deal from Santos, was expected to be loaned to Chelsea’s recently acquired club Strasbourg, but after impressing Pochettino in pre-season he could now stay and is viewed as part of the current plans.