With Mauricio Pochettino likely to be signed as manager, Chelsea are facing a crucial transfer window.
Once the fanfare surrounding Pochettino’s rumored impending arrival at Stamford Bridge has settled, the new Chelsea manager gets down to business.
Despite spending lavishly in the last two transfer windows, club owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, as well as sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, have more work to do next summer alongside the new head coach as the bloated and inconsistent squad needs much more tweaking .
Three positions have priority: A goalkeeper, a six and – unsurprisingly – a striker should come.
Pochettino’s contacts could prove useful in the search. Which players could Chelsea target to rejuvenate the side’s axis?
SPOX takes a look at Chelsea’s potential newcomers.
After the appointment of Pochettino, who is still popular with Spurs fans, what better way to rub salt in the wound than to snap Tottenham’s record goalscorer Harry Kane as well?
While he’s regularly linked with a move to Manchester United, a move within the capital isn’t as far-fetched as it might first seem. There’s an obvious connection to Pochettino – the man who saw him step into world class – and he could continue to live in and around London without having to move with his family.
Of course, it would be a very difficult and costly deal with notoriously tough negotiator Daniel Levy, but the new Chelsea bosses have already proven they are ruthless in pursuing their primary (transfer) goals.
In England, rumor has it that a new midfielder for the role of the six is high on Chelsea’s priority list, despite Enzo Fernández’s €121m signing in January.
We are looking for someone who will succeed N’Golo Kanté in the long term. Romeo Lavia, who made it into the NXGN Nine, fits the profile pretty well. The 19-year-old has had an impressive development this season and is the standout player in Southampton’s ailing side.
His pressing, his ball control and his clever passing make him the prototype of the modern six. Should the Saints relegate, it would probably even be relatively cheap.
A change is also planned in the goalkeeper position, because neither Kepa Arrizabalaga nor Édouard Mendy are considered consistently good enough to be number 1 in the long term.
Inter’s André Onana is the latest big name to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are set to discuss his interest in his player during talks over loanee Romelu Lukaku’s future at the Nerazzurri.
A transfer fee of 40 million euros for the Cameroonian is under discussion.
Chelsea are in dire need of a proven goalscorer for the Premier League and if there is one man who has proven in the league he can score goals it is Ivan Toney.
After a superb debut season in the top flight with Brentford FC, Toney proved it was no fluke by topping 20 goals in competitive games in the 2022/23 season.
His physique and explosive finishes are reminiscent of some of the great Chelsea forwards of modern times like Diego Costa and Didier Drogba. Toney has hinted in the past that he wants to compete at a higher level.
The 27-year-old could be of particular interest to the Blues, but a potential ban for betting offenses is a stumbling block on the way to a potential transfer.
Alongside Lavia, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Manu Koné is another six that Pochettino will be considering.
The 21-year-old Frenchman is similarly adept at possession and is good at dribbling and passing. He also has a certain physicality that could stand him in good stead in the Premier League.
In the battle for Koné, Chelsea would probably have to compete with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, who are also said to be interested.
Recently Koné said in the Le Parisien: “It fills me with pride that my name is associated with big clubs. But it doesn’t freak me out. I prefer to finish my season calmly. After that, what has to happen will happen.”
Possibly Chelsea’s best chance of signing a true world-class goalscorer.
After Victor Osimhen shot Napoli to the inevitable, historic Scudetto win, there will be a lot of interest in his signature over the summer. It could indeed become the window’s defining transfer saga.
The fact that there will be no Champions League football at Stamford Bridge next season speaks against Chelsea. Osimhen, meanwhile, has expressed his desire to explore the Premier League. A certain caution is required after the bad experience of the transfer of Romelu Lukaku, who had also shone in the series.