Chelsea boss Tuchel ‘adds two more stars to transfer wishlist’ to replace Antonio Rudiger

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has added Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe and Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid to his list of summer targets, according to reports. The Blues are widely expected to sign at least one new central defender in advance of next season to replace Antonio Rudiger, who is set to join Real Madrid on a free transfer over the coming months.

Chelsea are now said to have four players on their defensive shortlist, with Jules Kounde and Wesley Fofana also believed to be options. The Blues have been admirers of Kounde for some time and tried to bring him to Stamford Bridge last summer but ultimately failed to strike an agreement with Sevilla despite holding lengthy talks with the Spanish heavyweights. Goal claim the 23-year-old remains on Tuchel’s wish list but has since been joined on Chelsea’s radar by Kimpembe and Gimenez.

The report claims that Chelsea have prioritised the addition of a new defender ahead of the summer months, although the Blues will be unable to sign any players until the club is sold. They are said to be fond of Kimpembe but could struggle to agree a deal with PSG, who value the 26-year-old highly and have been tipped to offer him a contract extension before his deal runs out in the summer of 2024.

Gimenez is said to be another target for Chelsea as Tuchel looks to bring in a new leader at the back to succeed Rudiger in the not-too-distant future. The Atletico Madrid defender has been a mainstay for his club when fit over the course of this season but has been forced to miss a large chunk of the action due to injuries and COVID-19.

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The Evening Standard reported earlier this week that Leicester’s Fofana is also being considered as a direct replacement for the outgoing Rudiger. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether any of the aforementioned quartet will be snapped up by the Blues when the bidding opens at the end of the campaign. The European champions are also expected to lose Andreas Christensen over the coming months, with the Dane said to have settled on a move to Barcelona as a free agent by signing a pre-contract agreement earlier this year.

It seems as though Chelsea will be forced to play catch-up to their Premier League rivals in the summer market due to their ongoing takeover process, which could reportedly be pushed through by the end of next month. Tuchel recently admitted that it will be difficult to achieve his transfer objectives until the club’s off-field situation is resolved but insisted that he remains optimistic about the prospect of improving his squad ahead of next season.

“You’re never fully sure but we would have some targets and we would have for sure contacted some players and found out about their situations,” the Chelsea boss told reporters earlier this week.

“Now our hands are tied, we can still have the talks inside the building but we cannot act. It would be challenging enough with a stable situation.

“We don’t have that – so everybody is doing it, at least I know, for the first time. I’m committed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m passionate about it and as soon as we can act we will try to act and turn things around.”

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