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Chelsea round-up: Thibaut Courtois replacement identified; £70 million striker budget; race for Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk

Chelsea

Chelsea round-up: Thibaut Courtois replacement identified; £70 million striker budget; race for Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk

The Sun report that Leicester City hero Kasper Schmeichel is Chelsea’s first choice target should Thibaut Courtois decide to force a move to Real Madrid in the summer with the Spanish club lurking and considering a bid. The Dane has become a legend for the Foxes, first helping them to win the Premier League and then saving them in the Champions League.

The Dane has become a legend for the Foxes, first helping them to win the Premier League and then saving them in the Champions League.

The son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter, Schmeichel may be open to a move if he is given the option to join a side who will compete for titles and take part in the Champions League given that he has shown his ability to play at such a level over the past two seasons.

Another key addition in the summer looks likely to be a striker as The Sun claim that Antonio Conte has been given a £70 million budget to spend on a marquee signing up-front. Despite having a huge chunk of money to spend, Conte and his team cannot decide whether to move for Alvaro Morata or Romelu Lukaku.

 

Conte previously coached now Real Madrid striker Morata at Juventus, but he is struggling for game time back in Spain and has not quite reached the prolific level of performance that Romelu Lukaku has shown since he left Stamford Bridge to move to Everton permanently.

Another expensive summer move is likely to be for central defender Virgil Van Dijk, as the Mirror say that Chelsea are leading Manchester City in the race for the Southampton favourite. The Dutch international will demand a fee of £50 million if the Saints are to let him go in the next window.

Pep Guardiola has been monitoring the situation of the defender all season, though he is currently out of action for the rest of the campaign with an ankle problem, but Chelsea have the advantage in their pursuit to bring one of the Premier League’s best defenders to west London.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Craig Ballantyne.

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