Published On: Sat, Aug 22nd, 2020

Chelsea transfer news: Marina Granovskaia set to agree £50m Ben Chilwell deal | Football | Sport

Chelsea are on the verge of sealing an agreement with Leicester to sign left-back Ben Chilwell and make him their third signing of the summer according to reports.

The Blues have already snapped up Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner and are also in talks to sign Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

But director Marina Granovskaia has also been in talks with Leicester over Chilwell, who Frank Lampard has long had as his first-choice target in the role.

The England international has established himself as one of the Premier League’s best left-backs since ousting Christian Fuchs as the Foxes’ first-choice in 2017-18.

And Chelsea manager Lampard sees Chilwell as the long-term solution to a position in which he does not trust his options.

Due to his lack of faith in Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, one of whom is likely to leave after Chilwell joins, led to right-back Cesar Azpilicueta being used on the left.

The Athletic say that a deal in the region of £45million to £50m is set to be struck for Chelsea to bring the defender to Stamford Bridge.

He has had checks on a heel injury that kept him out of the final three games of Leicester’s campaign.

And Chelsea have been informed of the results, with it claimed he will be fit to return to training again in around three weeks, just before the season starts.

Leicester’s failure to clinch Champions League football has weakened their position as they hoped to keep Chilwell.

With the COVID-19 pandemic also hitting the Midlands outfit financially, they are prepared to let go of their academy graduate.

That is despite it having been claimed Leicester would hold out for the £80m fee that Manchester United paid for centre-back Harry Maguire 12 months ago.

But the financial repercussions of the coronavirus crisis has meant Leicester have had to settle for closer to £50m.

That will still make him the joint-most expensive English full-back of all time alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Kyle Walker.

He will wave goodbye to Leicester after making 123 first-team appearances over the last five years, also racking up 11 England caps in that time.

But with Chelsea he will get his first taste of Champions League football next term and will make up a new-look team as Lampard and co. hunt down Manchester City and Liverpool.

City were the only serious contenders to Chelsea for Chilwell’s signature but Pep Guardiola’s team did not act upon their interest.

And Chilwell is keen on a move to west London where he will instantly become first choice over Alonso and Palmieri.

Chelsea legend and former left-back Ashley Cole is fully behind a deal to sign his compatriot and said earlier this year: “I’d love to see him here. I think he’s a quality player.

“I’ve heard he’s a Chelsea fan so yes I’d like to see him here.

“It’s a big decision for the club but quality wise for sure he is good enough.

“But that depends on if he wants to leave or if Leicester will sell him – that’s something the clubs would need to talk about.

“There’s always going to be a question mark going to a bigger club, but he’s doing really, really well in terms of how he is playing with Leicester.

“He’s obviously enjoying the way Brendan plays, and the system, he’s got that license to attack.

“In terms of quality, for sure he has the quality to be here.

“It’s a big decision for the club but quality-wise for sure he is good enough.

“I definitely think they need to add to the squad in terms of strength in depth really. But they also have to keep going and get these younger guys some more game time, get them more experienced.”

After clinching a deal for Chilwell, Chelsea will hope to make a breakthrough in talks with Bayer Leverkusen for Havertz.

Lampard also has ambitions to sign Declan Rice from West Ham and is in talks to sign veteran Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva on a free.

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