Defensive Woes at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea’s defensive lineup is facing a challenging season, with key players Wesley Fofana and Trevoh Chalobah sidelined due to injuries, contributing to a lack of clean sheets. Benoit Badiashile’s absence due to muscle fatigue further compounds the issue, prompting the club’s search for reinforcements.
Failed Bid for Benfica Prodigy
After an unsuccessful attempt to secure Benfica’s young talent Antonio Silva, Chelsea’s recruitment efforts have swiftly shifted focus to Aitor Paredes of Athletic Bilbao in a bid to strengthen their backline during the January transfer window.
Chelsea Scouts Paredes
Chelsea’s interest in Paredes is evident, with scouts attending seven of his games this season, including a recent victory over Sevilla where Paredes impressed by netting the second goal. The 23-year-old defender, a product of Athletic Club’s esteemed academy, has emerged as a key figure in their defence, contributing to the team’s pursuit of a Champions League spot.
What Paredes Brings to the Table
The Blues are keen on Paredes for his adept ball-passing skills and robust athletic prowess. Known for his formidable strength and swift recovery speed, Paredes is also on the cusp of earning a spot in the Spanish national squad for the upcoming European Championship.
Transfer Negotiations Underway
While Chelsea have approached Athletic Club to discuss Paredes’ valuation, the Basque club has yet to indicate a willingness to negotiate. With a contract running until 2025, Paredes could command a fee in the region of £20 million, a figure within Chelsea’s sights.
Rising Competition for Paredes
Chelsea is not alone in their admiration for Paredes, with Real Madrid and Inter Milan also expressing interest. With Chelsea’s own Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah linked with moves away from the club, the race to secure Paredes’ signature could intensify.
Chelsea’s Defensive Future in the Balance
As Chelsea contemplates the potential departures of Silva and Chalobah—the latter possibly reuniting with former manager Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich—the club’s pursuit of Paredes becomes increasingly crucial. Chelsea may need to act swiftly to fortify their backline as the transfer window progresses.
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