Chelsea plan to sign Chilwell after £54m Werner deal
Chelsea are actively working towards securing the signing of Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell after meeting Timo Werner’s £54 million (€60m/$68m) release clause at RB Leipzig.
Neither Liverpool nor Manchester United were willing to pay that sum for the 24-year-old forward, allowing the Blues to close in on their second signing ahead of next season.
Manager Frank Lampard and defender Antonio Rudiger both spoke to Werner directly before he agreed on a move to Stamford Bridge and his agent Karlheinz Forster instructed Leipzig’s chiefs that his client was ready to move to west London at the end of the season.
After February’s £37m (€40m/$46m) deal for Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech, the Blues’ spending is now up to a combined £91m ($114m) but Goal has learned that Chilwell is being pursued with the same energy as their latest two signings.
Unlike the deals for Werner and Ziyech, Chilwell’s deal is complicated due to the absence of a release clause. Therefore, the club need to negotiate a fee with Leicester in order to bring him to Stamford Bridge next season.
Beyond Chilwell, Chelsea may re-ignite interest in their former academy star and Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake. Chelsea sold Ake to the Cherries for £20m ($25m) in 2017 but inserted a £40m ($50m) buyback clause which expires this summer.
The Blues may wait and see what happens with Chilwell – the club’s primary target – before moving for anyone else but Bournemouth being relegated may allow them to sign Ake on a slightly reduced fee despite the clause.
Lampard acknowledged that this would make it harder to qualify for the top four but he was broadly in support of the Chelsea hierarchy who secured Ziyech’s transfer for the summer only a matter of days later.
Indeed, much of Chelsea’s spending has been funded by high-profile sales, with the proceeds from Real Madrid’s £88m ($110m) deal for Eden Hazard being reinvested. The Blues also await payments from Atletico Madrid for former striker Alvaro Morata who was loaned with a view to buy for £58m ($73m).
Chelsea will also look to offload players this summer; Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso will be sold to make way for a new left-back.