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Chelsea lead race for £62m Jude Bellingham alternative amid Liverpool and Real Madrid interest



Chelsea transfer news: Todd Boehly’s proposed mass midfield rebuild has seen another player emerge as a transfer target for the Blues who could be the perfect Jude Bellingham alternative

Chelsea are favourites to sign a £62m Jude Bellingham alternative
Chelsea are favourites to sign a £62m Jude Bellingham alternative


Chelsea are favourites to sign a £62m Jude Bellingham alternative
Chelsea are favourites to sign a £62m Jude Bellingham alternative

Any midfielder that has greatly impressed in the year 2022 is highly likely to be on Chelsea’s transfer wish list for the coming windows, with a midfield rebuild desperately needed at Stamford Bridge. In the summer Todd Boehly oversaw a £160million defensive overhaul bringing in Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella, but it is now the midfield that needs serious attention.

Denis Zakaria was brought in on-loan from Juventus as a short-term solution in an attempt to solve the Blues’ midfield woes, but he has only made three appearances in a Chelsea shirt since joining. The contract situations of N’Golo Kanteand Jorginho and the lack of significant midfield acquisitions in the summer seem to indicate that 2023 is going to be the year of the midfielder.

Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are the obvious options for Boehly and Co. with the English duo looking likely to leave Borussia Dortmund and West Ham in the summer. The World Cup has also seen Chelsea spark an interest in Alexis Mac Allister and his Argentinian team-mate Enzo Fernandez, with the latter looking likely to be the first senior midfielder signed permanently by the Blues since Mateo Kovacic joined in 2019.

In what was likely his first significant official duty as new technical director Christopher Vivell was sent to open official talks in Portugal. Fernandez does have a massive £105million release clause in his contract but football.londonunderstands Chelsea are willing to pay above that fee to secure him if they can agree favourable terms.

The Blues look to be pushing hard for the 21-year-old to arrive in January, but it’s unlikely he will completely solve their midfield problems if he does join the club, with Kante and Jorginho both facing possible departures in the summer. The chances of the duo remaining beyond their current deals has been given a significant boost however, with talks over an extension for Kante making ‘positive progress’, while the agent of Jorginho revealed they have received a proposal regarding terms over a new deal.

If the move for Fernandez gets over the line, Rice or Bellingham would likely become the priority in the summer, however it seems Chelsea are leading the race for a potential alternative with his domestic future at Inter currently unclear.

According to La Repubblica, Chelsea are top of the list of suitors for Nicolo Barella if he decides to leave the club in the summer with Inter already identifying potential replacements for the 25-year-old in Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister and Sassoulo midfielder Davide Frattesi.

Real Madrid and Liverpool have shown previous interest in Barella and with both clubs also in the Bellingham transfer race, if one of those clubs does acquire the services of the teenager in the summer, it could be a straight battle between the duo who missed out on Bellingham for the signature of Barella.

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