Manchester City have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Leicester’s Ben Chilwell according to Sky Sports.
England’s first-choice left-back has been the talk of transfer speculation for weeks with many reports stating that Chelsea would soon be making a move for the 23-year-old.
But now they face stiff competition from Pep Guardiola who has identified Chilwell as a potential answer to his left-back problem.
Since joining Manchester City Guardiola has spent millions on his fullbacks but neither Benjamin Mendy nor Oleksandr Zinchenko has really stamped their authority on the position.
Chelsea’s left-back position has regularly been filled by Marcos Alonso but inconsistent performances seem to have left doubts in the mind of Frank Lampard with many Chelsea fans also calling for him to be replaced.
Chilwell would be a fantastic option for either club. He has played a key role in a young and exciting Leicester side that currently sits in third place in the Premier League and is well on its way to securing a Champions League place when football returns on 17th June.
Before it was moved back to next summer it was expected that Chilwell would be Gareth Southgate’s first-choice left-back for the European Championships and at 23 he is only going to get better.
But Leicester are renowned for their fierce negotiation skills. It is believed that Leicester value Chilwell just as highly as they did Harry Maguire who was sold for a world-record fee to Manchester United last summer.
Add to this the fact that Chilwell still has four years remaining on his current contract it would take a similar amount of money to tempt them into selling another key asset.
Out of the two clubs, Chilwell would perhaps suit Chelsea better. Another young English talent to join the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and alike would align with Lampard’s philosophy and while he does not want his fullbacks to attack as much as other teams they are still encouraged to get forward when appropriate.
And this is another of Chilwell’s key traits. As well as his defensive capabilities he’s shown at Leicester that he is more than capable at the business end of the pitch with two goals and three assists this season.
Chelsea are in a unique position in this transfer window as one of the few clubs who will be able to spend big money.
Due to Covid-19 and the financial impact it has had across football big-money transfer fees which we are used to seeing may not be as commonplace.
But due to the transfer ban they suffered last summer, it means Chelsea have funds available. This has been evidenced with the signing of Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech and move for Timo Werner.
High-profile outgoings such as Pedro and Willian will free up wages too so there may yet be cash available for a move for Chilwell…