Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel draws up three-man transfer shortlist with two deals possible

Tuchel pleased for Chalobah after first Chelsea goal

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has a three-man shortlist of midfield targets and could still also add a new centre-back before the August 31 deadline, according to reports. The Blues kickstarted their Premier League campaign with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

And that was without new club-record signing Romelu Lukaku, recruited from Inter Milan for £98.5million, being in the squad having only officially joined last Thursday.

But in addition to the Belgian, who has called his return to the Blues “a chance of a lifetime” having failed to score in 15 appearances in his previous spell at the club, Chelsea are eyeing more new signings.

Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, chased by Manchester City a year ago and also liked by Tottenham and Manchester United, is one potential addition.

The £68million-rated Frenchman, who has a release clause of that value in his contract with Sevilla, was the subject of talks over a part-exchange deal that would have included Kurt Zouma.

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The pair are both currently out of contract at the end of the season but Chelsea are in talks to extend both of their deals well beyond 2022.

It is unclear whether Kounde will come in if Zouma moves on after talks were held with West Ham but ultimately collapsed. They could be revived if the Hammers fail to sign an alternative defender.

But with Tammy Abraham poised to join Roma for £34m, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi bringing in a combined £40m and the likes of Michy Batshuayi and Tiemoue Bakayoko also leaving permanently, Chelsea’s cash raised through player sales looks set to overtake what they have spent on signings.

Goal say that on top of a potential new centre-half, Chelsea could make acquisitions in midfield with a shortlist having been drawn up that includes three names.

West Ham’s Declan Rice, Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga and Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni have all been looked at by the west Londoners as they consider another substantial signing.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has already acknowledged that he has space in midfield in which to add a new player.

The German said: “There’s a minimum one space there because Billy left us which is good for his personal career and personal development.

“He was fighting with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo [Kovacic], one of the best midfields in the world.

“He was very helpful in the last season and now he goes on loan to get more minutes. This is how to improve him, it was a good decision.”

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And Tchouameni and Camavinga would surely be far cheaper, and easier, deals to do than Rice, who West Ham have made it abundantly clear they value at around £100m.

With Billy Gilmour out on loan at Norwich this season, Chelsea may already have their fourth midfielder in the form of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has a chance to play regularly this term.

He was not named in the 20-man match-day squad against Palace due to testing positive for Covid after the Super Cup final win over Villarreal in Belfast.

Mateo Kovacic started alongside Jorginho in midfield against the Eagles with N’Golo Kante absent because of a knock he suffered in Northern Ireland.

Mason Mount and Trevoh Chalobah are also capable of playing in the middle of the park in Tuchel’s two-man midfield if needed.

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