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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has five defenders on his summer transfer shortlist | Football | Sport

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Chelsea reportedly have five defenders on their shortlist as Thomas Tuchel seeks reinforcements in the summertime transfer window. The Blues have been emboldened by the completion of Todd Boehly’s takeover from Roman Abramovich and at the moment are busy exploring their options available in the market.

Defence is a transparent priority for Tuchel, who will lose Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers upon the expiry of their contracts at the top of the month. Rudiger was a key player for the Blues last season and has now joined Real, while Christensen is poised to sign for Barca, although they’re yet to register him on account of financial struggles.

Meanwhile, there are doubts about Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, who’ve each been linked with moves to cash-strapped Barca. Even when each Spaniards do stay put, Chelsea will need strengthening on the back – and it is obvious the club are ready to deal with those needs.

GOAL reports that Chelsea have identified five key targets. Brighton’s Marc Cucurella has been earmarked as an option at left-back, as a possible substitute for Alonso if he does leave for Barcelona.

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The Blues tried hard to sign the Frenchman last summer, just for Sevilla to drag the plug. Kounde is keen on the move and has agreed personal terms with Tuchel’s side, but Sevilla’s asking price of £59m has slowed down any progress on the transfer for now.

Chelsea have been scouting Gvardiol ever since he broke through with the Croatian giants Dinamo and have previously explored the choices of signing each Gimenez and Kimpembe. Each are top-quality centre-backs who’ve a wealth of experience, each internationally and within the Champions League, and would command significant transfer fees.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s efforts to dump record-signing Romelu Lukaku to his former club Inter Milan has led to them considering Inter’s defenders. Right-back Denzel Dumfries and centre-backs Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni have all been mentioned in negotiations, but have been dismissed by the Italian side, who’re in search of a straight loan deal for Lukaku.

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