Frank Lampard changes Chelsea transfer priority as he targets Dayot Upamecano as Fikayo Tomori replacement
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is ready to shelve plans to bring in more firepower and feels central defence is the key area that needs addressing in the transfer market, according to reports.
The Blues spent big last summer, buying over £200million worth of players, and were linked with more audacious moves in the coming months, notably a club-record swoop for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
However, the Evening Standard report that Chelsea’s transfer plans have changed amid their current struggles and the backline – not the attack – is now the priority.
Chelsea’s defence had plenty of issues last season and the 36-year-old Thiago Silva was the only new addition brought in at centre-back, arriving on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
While the veteran Brazilian formed a strong partnership earlier in the season with Kurt Zouma, Lampard has dropped the latter more recently and brought Antonio Rudiger back in from the cold, with a number of question marks now developing over the position.
Chelsea needed to free up space at centre-back to bring in any new recruits and that has now finally happened with Fikayo Tomori joining AC Milan on loan until the end of the season with the option to buy him permanently.
According to the Standard’s report, Chelsea have joined the growing list of suitors looking at RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano as a potential solution to their problems.
If possible, Chelsea would try and bring the Frenchman in now but Leipzig are extremely unlikely to sell so their pursuit of the 22-year-old is expected to have to wait until the summer when plenty of other European giants will be circling.
Upamecano has been linked with Manchester United for some time, while Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are believed to be willing to pay the £40m release clause in his contract when it becomes active at the end of the season.
Although Tomori has already been offloaded – and Chelsea expect to land around £25m for him in the summer – they are still looking to get rid of a couple more players, with Andreas Christensen and Rudiger potentially facing the chop.
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