Chelsea have been offered PSG center-back Thiago Silva on a free transfer as they mull over replacements in the heart of their defense. Fiorentina and AC Milan are reported to be among several other clubs also offered the defender, who turns 36 next month. Silva is set to decide on his future after the Champions League final on Sunday.
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The Blues have been cautious over switches to their central defensive positions as they prioritize signing both Bayer Leverkusen‘s Kai Havertz and Leicester City‘s Ben Chilwell in the early phase of their transfer window.
There is optimism that the Blues will complete both deals in the coming weeks despite the huge expense on both transfers. Chelsea had meetings regarding the 21-year-old Germany international on Wednesday to work out how to pay closer to Leverkusen’s valuation, which is €20 million (£18m/$24m) more than Chelsea’s latest offer.
Despite playing almost all of last season in midfield, West Ham’s Declan Rice is the clear standout target to improve Lampard’s defense, with interest also having been shown in Brighton pair Ben White and Lewis Dunk.
Still, Neither Frank Lampard nor the club have told any of their players that they are surplus to requirements at this stage, despite poor defensive performances leading to 54 goals being conceded in last season’s Premier League — the most of any of the top 10 sides.
It is the worst such total since Roman Abramovich bought the club. All four of Chelsea’s center-backs remain in limbo over their futures, with the club stalling on any decision over a loan move from Rennes for Fikayo Tomori.
It is understood that several Blues stars will seek clarity on their future in pre-season with Ethan Ampadu and several other loan stars set to join up with the squad. Chelsea begin pre-season training on Saturday having had a testing day at Cobham Training Centre following a brief holiday in between the two seasons.
Lampard is aware that his side’s defensive issues are partly down to Kepa’s loss of form, with sources describing a loss of confidence within the squad in their side’s No. 1.
The incident reflects the general concern in the squad over their goalkeeper’s form with a back-up option, Willy Caballero, turning 39 next month.
Like Silva, Ajax‘s Andre Onana has been offered to Chelsea as a solution, while Atletico Madrid would require Jan Oblak’s €120m (£108m/$141m) release clause to be activated to lose their superstar goalkeeper, who is admired by the Blues.