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Chelsea identify 25-year-old Benfica star as Declan Rice alternative

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Julian Weigl could be sold by SL Benfica this summer (imago images)

Transfer News: Chelsea identify Julian Weigl as Declan Rice alternative

According to transfer news from Express, Chelsea have lined up Julian Weigl as an alternative to Declan Rice. The Benfica midfielder could be the one they turn to if they miss out on long-term target Rice.

Chelsea are looking to bolster their midfield in the summer as the board are looking to back Thomas Tuchel in the transfer market. While interest in Rice went cold after the sacking of Lampard, it is not entirely gone. Thomas Tuchel is said to be after the West Ham midfielder.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Declan Rice of West Ham United takes a shot during the Premier League match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at London Stadium on January 19, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Nonetheless, any deal for Rice could be an expensive one and that has led to Chelsea drawing contingency plans. While their first choice remains Declan Rice, they will switch their attention to Weigl if they cannot get Rice.

Once regarded as one of the finest midfield talents in the world, Weigl fell off the radar at Dortmund. The 25-year-old Germany international is an exceptional passer of the ball and is very comfortable in possession. He also excels in breaking up opposition’s play. He has plenty of energy and always looks to pass forward.

I Liga: FC Famalico vs SL Benfica Vila Nova de Famalico, 07/09/2020 – Futebol Clube de Famalico hosted Lisboa e Benfica, at Estdio Municipal de Famalico, in a game counting for the 31st round of the 2019/20 I Liga. Julian Weigl Pedro Gonalves Miguel Pereira / Global Imagens.

Over the last season or so, Weigl has made sure that he hasn’t faded off into oblivion. He signed for Portuguese side Benfica. Weigl was one of their best players throughout the season, appearing in 43 games for them.

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Weigl is perhaps a good alternative for Rice. The 25-year-old German has shown that he still has the talent that he once showed at Dortmund. Prising away Weigl might also be difficult given that he just joined the club a year back. However, with the player already working with Tuchel previously at Dortmund, it might not be a bad idea to go after him.

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