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Report: Serie A club triggers buy option for 24-year-old Blues transfer target

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Chelsea target Merih Demiral set for permanent Atalanta switch.

Transfer News: Chelsea target Merih Demiral set for permanent Atalanta switch 

Atalanta have decided to trigger their buy-option for Juventus defender Merih Demiral, who spent last year on loan in Bergamo. In recent days, reports have linked Demiral with a potential switch to Stamford Bridge, but that doesn’t seem like a possibility any longer. 

According to Fabrizio Romano, Atalanta are expected to announce the deal officially soon. The buy-option was initially believed to be worth €23 million, but Juventus and Atalanta have agreed on a final sum of €20 million

The 24-year-old Turkey international made 42 appearances across all competitions for Atalanta last season but despite being a regular on loan, he didn’t do enough to convince Juventus chiefs to consider him for next season.

Chelsea target Merih Demiral set for permanent Atalanta switch.
Turkish central defender Merih Demiral is set for a permanent move to Atalanta. (Credit: Imago)

However, Atalanta seem to be more than happy to turn his deal permanent. One important aspect of Demiral’s profile is his ability to play on either side of the defence, which is probably what drew Chelsea’s attention. 

The Blues were reportedly interested in exploring a swap deal for Demiral, with Jorginho going the other way to Juventus. That is no longer a possibility, thanks to Atalanta’s timely intervention. 

Demiral joined the Old Lady in the summer of 2019 from Sassuolo. In his two full seasons with the club, he made only 32 appearances in total before being loaned out to Atalanta last year. 

Does it really bother Chelsea? 

Not really. Demiral, although viewed as a cheaper alternative to big-money defenders like Jules Kounde and Kalidou Koulibaly, was never tipped to be a “top” Chelsea target. 

With the Blues expected to land Kounde soon, Chelsea’s RCB and LCB issue would be more or less sorted between the Frenchman and Cobham graduate Trevoh Chalobah. A central defender capable of playing in back three and back four systems seems more necessary, and Demiral cannot be considered “elite-level” for that role yet. 

Chelsea are better off monitoring the contract situation of Kalidou Koulibaly, who is capable of walking in and making an instant impact. 

Chelsea target Merih Demiral set for permanent Atalanta switch.
Demiral played 42 times for Atalanta last season. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

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Koulibaly also has fantastic chemistry and understanding with compatriot Edouard Mendy. The two have forged a formidable GK-CB pairing in national colours for Senegal and could do the same at club-level too, should Chelsea convince Koulibaly to not renew at Naples and switch to West London instead. 

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