Chelsea’s £106m spree puts four rivals on red alert amid Colwill uncertainty
Chelsea are famed for bringing players through their academy and into the first team, but they could be set to lose their next rising talent Levi Colwill this summer
Chelsea may have to sell Levi Colwill this summer if Thomas Tuchel completes his £106million overhaul of his defence, following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
The Blues are keen to sign two central defenders this summer, with Jules Kounde and Nathan Ake expected to be pursued. However, that could come at a significant cost.
Mirror Sport understands that highly-rated prospect Colwill will push for an exit from Stamford Bridge this summer if he cannot receive assurances over his game time at the club. The 19-year-old flourished out on loan at Huddersfield Town last season, which captured the attention of numerous clubs.
Of those sides that have registered their interest in the defender, he has narrowed his options down to four clubs he would be willing to join if he does not remain at Chelsea; Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Southampton. Talks have been held with other Premier League outfits, though they are currently not in the picture – of course, other clubs may emerge as interested.
Everton are one of the several other clubs to have enquired about Colwill, with Frank Lampard interested in making use of his ties with his former side. But the Toffees aren’t believed to be in the frame anymore and are likely to turn their attention to other targets – including Chelsea ‘s Conor Gallagher.
The ball is firmly in the court of Chelsea, and if they cannot provide the guaranteed minutes that Colwill desires to continue his progress then he is unlikely to be a Blues player next season. Though Tuchel may attempt to convince the defender to only depart on loan if he still believes there is a pathway to the first team for him beyond the upcoming campaign.
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Chelsea are prioritising their central defence this summer, with Sevilla’s Kounde remaining a target after their failed pursuit of the Frenchman in January. Talks are continuing with the La Liga side, who are demanding £56million for the services of the defender and want the deal to be completed sooner rather than later.
Tuchel is also keen for the Blues to re-sign Ake from Manchester City, who have told the defender that he is free to leave the club if a sufficient offer arrives. The Netherlands international has struggled for minutes since heading to the Etihad Stadium, but City are still set to demand £50m for the versatile defender, according to The Sun.
Ake has played in a back-three previously and would slot into the left side of Chelsea’s defence with relative ease – and his Premier League experience certainly cannot be understated. Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr will also be keen to ensure that they remain part of the squad on a regular basis – which somewhat justifies why Colwill is potentially sceptical about how frequently he will play when he returns to his parent club.
Three of the four sides that the defender is interested in joining have all negotiated with Chelsea previously – with Brighton signing Tariq Lamptey, Marc Guehi joining Palace and Southampton securing Valentino Livramento last summer. However, those deals all took place under Roman Abramovich rather than Todd Boehly, so it remains to be seen how the situation unfolds and whether the new owner will be keen to keep a core of academy players within his squad.