How Chelsea can sign cheap Frenkie de Jong alternative at Chelsea with £43m transfer shock – Football.London

Be it through the injury to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the exposed flaws of Jorginho, the stone wall in front of Frenkie de Jong, Billy Gilmours likely departure or the desperation to move on from a three man defence, Chelsea could yet sign a new midfielder this window.

After being broken apart by Southampton in the first half and toothless in the second, Chelsea needs someone to sit in front of the defence and break apart attacks. Not only working as a defensive shield but also allowing further expansion and flexibility in attack became apparent.

If it wasn’t known already, it was made visible for all at St Mary’s as Jorginho made a weak attempt to disrupt Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in the build-up to the winning goal. Chelsea have needed a new midfielder for several years, and with less than two days to go until the end of the window, they have kickstarted their attempts to bring in Ajax’s Edson Alvarez.

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The Mexican 24-year-old has emerged as a late contender for the defensive midfield role at Chelsea, but any deal would have to be sorted quickly. Not only is the player under pressure to complete a deal before the British transfer window closes on September 1 at 11pm, the Dutch window shuts one day before that, meaning that Ajax would lose the player but not be able to buy anybody else afterwards.

The talks between the clubs have now been confirmed by David Ornstein of the Athletic after Dutch journalist Mike Verweij from the Dutch Telegraph broke the news that a €50m (£43.2m) offer had been made for the player.

As a versatile midfielder capable of playing at centre-back too, a trait sure to impress Tuchel, Alvarez has a profile suited to Chelsea’s needs. He could also be used in a possible late departure for Hakim Ziyech, who has come under fire for his performance against Southampton. The Moroccan winger has been keen to leave Chelsea this summer, with Manchester United also linked with the player but hasn’t been able to find a new club.

Talks over Alvarez do open up the chance of involving Ziyech in a move going the other way. Chelsea and Ajax had been in talks regarding the transfer, only for them to slow down as the window drew on. The two clubs were unable to come to a price agreement over Ziyech, and a loan was also discussed.

Any deal that was to involve would benefit Chelsea, who don’t have an obvious place for him next season, especially with talks ongoing for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the outside chance of signing Wilfried Zaha as well.

Although it is late for movement of this kind, which has already proved hard to accomplish in this window, Ajax’s reported deal for Florian Grillitsch, as per Verweij again, would offer space in their squad should Alvarez move on.

It comes as the Blues seemingly move on from their attempts to lure Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona after the player didn’t have a change of heart on where he wanted to spend his future despite immense speculation this summer.


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