Chelsea have already been making waves in the transfer market, long before this season has come to an end and the window opens up officially. They wrapped up a deal for Moroccan playmaker Hakim Ziyech from Ajax in January itself, with the player joining his new team over the last week to get acquainted with his new teammates and coaches, despite being ineligible to play till the start of next season. They then went ahead and sealed a huge transfer coup, managing to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig after activating his release clause. With the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United also interested in the German forward, it speaks to Frank Lampard’s powers of persuasion that he was able to convince Werner that he should move to Stamford Bridge instead. After that, Chelsea have been persistently linked with yet another German, Bayer Leverkusen’s wonderkid Kai Havertz. Apparently, Chelsea are in the driving seat as far as any deal for Havertz is concerned, with Bayern Munich not having the money to bring him in unless they make a few sales first. If Chelsea do manage to seal that transfer, it would be an even bigger coup than the Werner deal, as Havertz is thought of as one of the best young players in the world right now, and a future Ballon d’Or winner.
All of these deals alone would make it an extremely successful window for the west London club, but if rumours and football tips are to be believed, there is a lot more lined up by the Chelsea hierarchy. The club needs defensive reinforcements, and thus Leicester City’s left-back Ben Chilwell is thought to be the next transfer priority, while a centre-back is also needed. At the same time, Kepa Arrizabalaga’s troubles in goal may have convinced Lampard that he needs to sign an upgrade, and Chelsea are apparently once again looking towards the absolute top of the pile for this transfer as well.
Atletico Madrid’s assistant manager, German Burgos, let slip in an interview recently that Chelsea are interested in Jan Oblak, the Slovenian goalkeeper at the club. Oblak is widely considered one of the best keepers in the world at the moment, along with Liverpool’s Alisson, and signing him would be yet another huge statement of intent from the club on top of the deals they have already made. However, he will not come cheap, and Chelsea will likely have to break the record for the highest fee paid for a goalkeeper yet again. They paid £71.6 million to sign Kepa from Athletic Bilbao, which was his release clause, and Oblak’s release clause at Atletico Madrid is set at an eye-watering £120 million. The numbers involved make this deal extremely difficult, especially if Chelsea are also making a move for their other targets as mentioned above, and would result in a window where the club spend over £350 million. That seems unlikely given the uncertainty around football, and the world in general, at the moment. Chelsea would probably need to sell Kepa as well before they could bring Oblak in, and they will definitely have to take a big hit on the fee they paid for him. The Spaniard is just 25 years old, and so the Blues may decide to hold on to him and wait for an improvement in his form rather than binning him so quickly.