Written By Onyeka Daniel
English Premier League side, Brighton are set to lose further players after selling Argentine midfielder, Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool this summer. According to reports, the Blues are close to reaching an agreement for the signing of Brighton goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez, having already reached an agreement with the player over a move to the Stamford Bridge.
Sanchez has the recommendation of Ben Roberts, who was Chelsea’s goalkeeper coach under former boss Graham Potter last season but is now in a wider management role in goalkeeping at Stamford Bridge. Roberts has a great bond with Sanchez, who is available after falling out of favour at the Amex Stadium under Roberto De Zerbi.
With just one year left on his contract, the Seagulls are prepared to sell him and would be open to an offer close to €20m. After previously being linked with Brentford goalkeeper, David Raya, it seems like the Blues have settled on Sanchez to provide competition for Kepa under Mauricio Pochettino. Not only that, the club will continue to press ahead for the signing of Moises Caicedo from Brighton despite the signing of Rennes midfielder, Lesley Ugochukwu.
Following Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Fulham which saw them crowned winners of the inaugural, pre-season Premier League Summer Series trophy, Pochettino when asked about the signing of the Lesley had these to say: ‘I don’t know the information that you have.
“My information is he is a player that is from France that maybe they are signing with the idea to send on some loan, using a different club but that information was already in your laptop.” “There is nothing to say too much.’ The 19 year-old is predominantly a defensive midfielder and has already made 60 senior appearances for Rennes, who finished fourth in Ligue 1 last season to qualify for the Europa League. Chelsea’s signing of up and coming under-21 prospects has been a feature of their transfer business under the new regime.
Ogochukwu will join a list that already includes goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, midfielders Cesare Casadei, Andrey Santos, and Carney Chukwuemeka, wingers Diego Moreira, Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards and Angelo plus striker David Datro Fofana. When asked about the signing of Disasi, whom the Blues beat fellow EPL sides, Manchester United and Newcastle United to his signing, Pochettino said: ‘You have more news than me! [Wesley] Fofana is injured it is obvious that maybe we need to reinforce this area. It is clear, no.’
While the French midfielder is expected to be loan to their sister club, Strasbourg, Caicedo is seen as a Signing for the EPL club, but Brighton are refusing to go below the €100m valuation, already rejecting three bids from Chelsea for the Ecuadorian. Chelsea will make their final push for Caicedo after they’ve sold Romelu Lukaku, whose transfer is expected to further boost their transfer kitty.
Apart from Sanchez and Caicedo, Brighton could further lose another first team player before the transfer window closes. Albanian striker, Deniz Undav could be on his way out of the Amex Stadium despite having a stellar second half season with the club. Undav scored eight goals in 30 appearances in his debut season for Albion but started just six Premier League games and finds himself at the bottom of the pecking order under Roberto De Zerbi.
But the manager has said that he will have enough attackers at his disposal this season even if Undav completes a move away from the club this summer. The 27-year-old joined Albion in January 2022 from Brighton’s sister club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, with the German initially heading back on loan to the Belgian club for the remainder of the season.
He could now be on his way out the door, having been left out of Brighton’s squad for their 2-1 friendly defeat to Newcastle in New Jersey on the weekend and reports linking him with a move to the Bundesliga. According to various reports from Germany and England, Undav is reportedly set to join German side, VfB Stuttgart on a one-year loan with an option to buy, with the deal as good as complete already.
De Zerbi has the experienced Danny Welbeck and breakthrough star Evan Ferguson at his disposal as well as Joao Pedro, who signed for a club-record £30million from Watford this summer and he recently addressed the reports following his team’s defeat to Newcastle, telling reporters that he was content with the options he had even if Undav were to leave.
“Danny [Welbeck] is in fantastic physical condition,” he said. “In the striker positions, I have three players. We will see what happens for Undav in the coming days in the transfer market, but Joao Pedro, Welbeck and [Evan] Ferguson are enough.” Albion’s final pre-season friendly takes place this Sunday as they take on Spanish La Liga side Rayo Vallecano at the American Express Stadium. Their Premier League campaign kicks off against Luton Town on August 12 at home.
Chelsea could be prepared to make an assault for Real Madrid midfielder, Federico Valverde if they fail to reach an agreement for Caicedo and Todd Boehly is prepared to personally get involved to get the deal done for the Uruguayan. This is according to a report from Spain, stating that the Blues are now interested in bringing Valverde to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Los Blancos have rebuffed approaches for the Uruguay international with Liverpool said to have made an €80million offer, while Saudi Arabian sides Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli both offered €100million. The Spanish giants signed Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund this summer, adding to their immense midfield options at the Santiago Bernabeu. Carlo Ancelotti now has Bellingham, Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Brahim Diaz, Arda Guler, Toni Kroos and Valverde at his disposal next season.
This could see one of them leave in search of regular first team football or the club could make a big money sales to fund their potential move for Kylian Mbappe. Boehly is said to have prepared a bid of €130million to sign Valverde in an effort to test Florentino Perez’s resolve. The report adds that the Blues are prepared to quintuple Valverde’s salary to make him one of the best paid players in the Premier League too.
Valverde would definitely be an upgrade on Caicedo as he already has UCL experience from Playing and winning the UCL title with Real Madrid and he’s just 24yrs. He can also play as a winger and as an attacking midfielder and plays with plenty of energy, capable of tracking back to help the defense too. All these traits would definitely benefit Chelsea and Pochettino for the 2023/24 season.
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