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Chelsea prepare four-man shortlist to bolster key position

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Chelsea ready four-man shortlist to strengthen defence

According to a report from The Athletic, Chelsea have readied a four-man shortlist as manager Frank Lampard eyes a new centre-back signing in the ongoing transfer window.

The 2019/20 campaign, our first under Frank Lampard, has been a fairly successful one given the circumstances he took over the reins.

However, the club will need to strengthen the ranks further this summer for us to be able to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. The additions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner is a step in the right direction, but the defence will also need restructuring before next season.

Declan Rice will add much to the Chelsea backline
Declan Rice will add much to the Chelsea backline

Chelsea conceded the most number of goals by any team in the top half of the Premier League table this past season. None of the centre-backs on the club’s payroll were consistent enough, thus warranting the addition of a new centre-half.

And, as per the aforementioned report, the Blues have prepared a four-man shortlist with the view of bolstering the defensive unit.

The first name on the said shortlist is of West Ham United ace Declan Rice. A former Chelsea academy man, the Englishman has flourished since switching to the Hammers. (h/t The Athletic)

While he has excelled as a defensive midfielder, he is equally adept at playing as a centre-back. However, he is likely to cost £70m, which might force the club to look elsewhere.

Lewis Dunk has been a consistent performer for Brighton (Getty Images)
Lewis Dunk has been a consistent performer for Brighton (Getty Images)

The second player on the list is Brighton & Hove Albion captain Lewis Dunk. The 28-year-old has been a consistent performer for the Seagulls year in year out since helping them to the Premier League. (h/t The Athletic)

A no-nonsense defender, Dunk would make the backline solid and bring a leadership presence on the field. With three years left on his contract, he is likely to command a transfer fee of £30m.

The third name on the list is Burnley’s James Tarkowski. The centre-back is a year younger to Dunk and has one year less on his contract with the Clarets. A player very similar to the Brighton defender, he too would be an option worth considering. (h/t The Athletic)

James Tarkowski is also being considered by Chelsea
James Tarkowski is also being considered by Chelsea

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The final player that Chelsea are looking at is Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez. However, the Uruguayan international has a release clause of £108m, which may put him beyond our reach. (h/t The Athletic)

All the four players come with their pros and cons. So, it will be interesting to see who the club decide to sign in the current window.

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Chelsea-linked PL star set to make a career-defining decision in coming weeks

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Chelsea target Declan Rice set to be offered lucrative new contract by West Ham United

Declan Rice could close the door on a Chelsea move with this decision

According to The Daily Star, Chelsea target Declan Rice looks set to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks.

The 21-year-old, despite his young age, is an experienced Premier League player. He already has 105 appearances for West Ham United and has scored three goals during this time.

While the Blues have shown they are a force to be reckoned in the attack, the same cannot be said of the defence.

Selling Rice to Chelsea a big gamble for West Ham even at £40m' – Cole  calls on Gold & Sullivan to resist offers | Goal.com

The likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are all excellent players in their own right. However, adding Rice to the mix will add traits to the midfield that the three players lack.

The Englishman will bring with him a calmness in possession and he also reads the game well. Add to it his ability to play forward passes and he will be a fantastic fit for our system.

The Hammers, however, are not keen to lose their star man. They are readying a new contract that will see Rice double his current £60,000-a-week wages. His current deal runs until 2024 with an option for another year.

Declan Rice - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt

Signing the new contract will make it harder for us to secure his signature. Rice is someone who is familiar with Chelsea. He was on the club’s rolls before being released at the age of 14.

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A number of youth stars who played with Rice at Chelsea have made their way up to the first-team. This also includes his close friend Mason Mount.

It remains to be seen what the midfielder decides to do. He will do his career no harm if he decides to return to the club where it all began.

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Chelsea star thanks new summer signing for key role in Old Trafford stalemate

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Chelsea star N’Golo Kante praises Edouard Mendy for match-saving performance against United

Speaking to the club’s official site, Chelsea star N’Golo Kante has praised Edouard Mendy for his performance against Manchester United.

The Blues and the Red Devils played out a 0-0 draw in the standout fixture of the weekend. While we did have our chances, so did United.

New signing Mendy was at the fore once again as he kept his third clean sheet of the season. Finally, the club appears to have a keeper they can depend on.

“He made some decisive saves. He helped us keep the clean sheet. It’s good for him, for his confidence, and good for the team.”

Chelsea 'Optimistic' N'Golo Kante Will Be Fit for UEL Final After Injury |  Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

It is fair to say that Kepa Arrizabalaga’s troubles extended to his defence as well. Playing in front of an indecisive keeper is not the best of situations to be in for a defender.

With Mendy now in goal, we have hopfully put those days behind us. Thiago Silva was also excellent and did well to organize the backline against the United frontline led by Marcus Rashford.

Mendy was twice at hand to deny the United striker what could have been a game-winning goal. Both attempts came in the latter stages of either half.

Edouard Mendy is already my No 1, says Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard |  Football News | Sky Sports

Kante, for his part, was impressed to see his new teammate play a key role for the club on the field. He hopes that the Senegalese star can keep up his good form going forward.

“I hope he can keep going in this way and continue not conceding any goals.”

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Chelsea have now kept back-to-back cleansheets. While our defence still has work to do, this upturn in form is a positive sign.

With things secure at the back, it will hopefully give the frontline more confidence to contribute at the other end.

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Lampard left frustrated after VAR denies obvious Chelsea penalty

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Frank Lampard was taught a harsh lesson at Sheffield United

Frank Lampard unhappy with VAR after Chelsea were denied a penalty against Manchester United

Speaking to the BBC, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been left frustrated by VAR following the goalless draw against Manchester United.

Blues skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was grabbed by his United counterpart Harry Maguire when challenging for a header in the first half. However, VAR dismissed our penalty claims after reviewing the incident.

“I thought it was a clear penalty.”

While Lampard admits officials on the pitch may miss things, he is perplexed that VAR has not been able to correct such things.

Chelsea season a success, but Lampard has room to improve - Sports  Illustrated

While the introduction of VAR has been an excellent step. The implementation has been far from impressive.

“They should have taken time and advised the referee to look at the monitor. If he watches the monitor, he has to give the penalty, so it’s confusing.”

With the monitors being made available by pitchside, Lampard believes on-field officials should play a more proactive role in decision making.

This is not the first time that Maguire has got away with a foul against us. He was let off after what looked like a deliberate hit on Michy Batshuayi in the game at Stamford Bridge in February.

Chelsea press conference live: Frank Lampard on Man Utd draw, Edoaurd  Mendy, Kai Havertz - football.london

He stayed on and went on to score the opener for United that night. Unless implementation of the technology is done right, the whole point of using VAR becomes moot.

Chelsea next face Krasnodor in the Champions League group stage fixture on 28th.

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It was hardly the single mistake officials have made in recent times, let alone the same night. A foul that occurred outside the penalty area was given as a penalty for Sheffield United at Anfield.

One cannot accuse VAR of being inconsistent. After all, they appear to be making the wrong decisions on a regular basis.

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“We had an honest conversation” – Chelsea ace reveals talks with Lampard regarding his future

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek requested to leave the club on loan earlier this summer

According to The Sun, Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek hopes his loan spell away at Fulham will help kickstart his career once again.

The youngster looked to be on the track of making it at Stamford Bridge under Maurizio Sarri. However, an unfortunate injury suffered in a charity match saw him on the sidelines for 13 months.

Loftus-Cheek struggled to reach the same levels since his return. He started the opening day fixture against Brighton but has not featured for the Blues since.

Loftus-Cheek set to leave Chelsea on loan

With his career at Chelsea appearing to stall, he went talk to Frank Lampard about leaving the club on loan. Now at Fulham, he has a chance to resurrect his career.

“We had an honest conversation. I was the one who initiated it. I felt like it was paramount that I played a lot of football this season.”

The summer spending spree has seen the Blues sign a number of players. With competition for spots high, chances were always going to be at a premium.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek hailed as 'world class' as Chelsea midfielder joins  Fulham on season-long loan

Moving to Fulham will at the very least see him play more. While the Cottagers look destined for the drop, Loftus-Cheek could give himself a new lease of life at Chelsea.

The 24-year-old is fully confident of his abilities and sees a future for himself at Stamford Bridge.

“I still see my future at Chelsea.”

His spell at Craven Cottage is at best a platform for him to showcase his abilities. Time will tell whether he will succeed in his endeavours.

Gutted Chelsea fans react to Ruben Loftus-Cheek injury update – HITC

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This will not be the first time that Loftus-Cheek will have used a loan spell to his advantage. The last time he did that, it sparked his international career to existence.

Hopefully, it will be a case of history repeating itself once again.

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