Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger’s decision to leave the club on a free transfer this summer will have sparked panic at Stamford Bridge. Andreas Christensen also looks set to leave while Cesar Azpilicueta’s future is unclear. Only Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr are certain to be at the club next year. Express Sport takes a look at four potential options to replace Rudiger.
Chelsea wanted to sign Kounde last summer but a deal never came to fruition. The Frenchman reportedly has a release clause of £68.7million, but the Blues never activated it and Kounde stayed put at the Andalusian giants.
Having impressed again this season, Kounde will be wanted by Europe’s top clubs including the west London outfit. And Thomas Tuchel will have to act quickly if he is to secure the services of his long-term target if he is to avoid yet more centre-back disappointment.
Matthijs De Ligt
De Ligt was billed as the world’s best young centre-back in his time at Ajax, but the Dutchman has failed to hit the heights expected of him at Juventus. He made his debut in Amsterdam at just 17 years of age, and has since racked up 230 professional appearances in club football.
A move to a better team in Chelsea could well make him realise his potential as a world-class centre-back, especially alongside the leadership of Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta.
But with over two years left on his contract and Juventus not in a position where they have to sell, a deal could well be tough to complete.
Webster has starred for Brighton this season, and is following in the footsteps of former team-mate Ben White, who joined Arsenal in the summer. Having sold Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori in the summer, the Blues may need a centre-back to fulfil a homegrown quota.
Webster would offer longevity, talent and Premier League experience after playing 77 games in just three seasons for the Seagulls. But with four years left on his deal, he could be another player who would be tricky to buy.
Marquinhos’ incredible exploits for Paris Saint-Germain have notified the world’s best sides to the fact that he would improve any back line in the world.
The Brazilian, 27, has clocked up over 350 appearances in Paris, with 73 of those coming in the Champions League.
His experience, aggression and overall athleticism has attackers scared of his presence, detailed by his mass accolades at the French giants. And after reportedly bidding £72m for him last August, Chelsea could well return again for the player this summer.