Ben Chilwell is ‘not for sale and it is as simple as that’, says Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers as he addressed the media via zoom today.
"He's not for sale, simple as that."
– Brendan Rodgers sends a message to clubs hoping to sign Ben Chilwell in the transfer window
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) July 17, 2020
Chilwell is largely spoken about as being Chelsea’s priority target for the left back position, and of course he still might.
But they will have a tough time convincing Leicester to sell the England international after these comments.
So who next?
Well, Chelsea are heavily linked with signing Nicolas Tagliafico from Ajax, and the Argentinian international will present a much lower value fee than Chilwell.
The Blues have worked up a good relationship with Ajax after signing Hakim Ziyech this summer, and they could even do a double deal signing both Tagliafico and goalkeeper Andre Onana as well.
Tagliafico is a great all round choice, although he does turn 28-years old next month so he can’t be seen as a long term fix in that position.
Chelsea boost over Tagliafico & Onana. Ajax with manager Erik ten Hag suggesting that Nicolas Tagliafico and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana (below) could leave this summer. Chelsea have been linked with the pair as Frank Lampard continues his overhaul. pic.twitter.com/nN2gcJZS2Z
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) June 29, 2020
So how about the historical Chelsea target of Alex Telles from Porto?
We have been linked with Telles transfer window after transfer window, and we continue to be reliably linked to this day.
If Chilwell is out of Chelsea's reach, then Chelsea could turn their attention to Porto's Alex Telles, who is likely to be available for around £40 million ($52m) as the Portuguese side look to raise much-needed funds this summer.
— Vince™ (@Blue_Footy) March 11, 2020
The Brazilian is another great all round left back with more emphasis on his attacking traits. But again, he is the same age as Tagliafico and turns 28 in December, meaning that although he will be bought for well under £30 million, he cannot be seen as the long term solution in that area.
Recently Chelsea have been named as a club interested in signing Barcelona left back Lucas Digne.
Ancelotti warns Chelsea off Digne and says Everton will NOT sell stars
— Blainzy (+) (@John_B58) July 17, 2020
A lot like Chilwell, Everton are expected to hold firm over any interest for the former Barcelona defender – so I would not expect him to be a cheap option.
But he is one year younger than the above two options and turns 27 later this month. Even still, you can’t really look for him to be Chelsea’s long term left back, which is what they really need right now.
Now Tagliafico and Telles would be great short term options to come in on the cheap, and wait for the highly rated Ian Maatsen from the academy to develop some more.
But if Chelsea want a player for the long term future and one that wont cost a Chilwell level arm and a leg, then look no further than former Barcelona academy player Alex Grimaldo.
He is technically excellent and very good attacking wise, but he’s no fall down at the back either and will be another excellent all-round option for Chelsea.
Grimaldo is 24-years old now and plays for Benfica, becoming a regular for them over recent years.
Chelsea are yet to be strongly linked to signing Grimaldo though, but I’m sure he is a player they have at least looked at as an option.
Chilwell is very good, but it's just so much money.
You've got Tagliafico, Telles, Grimaldo, Theo Hernandez + more out there on the market for between 20-50% of the price.
Chelsea are in a really strong HG position. Can avoid English premium £ if they want to. https://t.co/GLYbLnDUI3
— Sam Tighe – Ranks FC Podcast (@stighefootball) June 5, 2020