Chelsea will make a move for Leicester’s Ben Chilwell their ‘number one target’ as the club prepare for an imminent decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding their transfer ban.
Frank Lampard’s side are currently serving a two-window transfer ban for breaking the rules regarding the signing of foreign U18 players, the first of which was served during the past summer.
Chelsea have since appealed against their punishment to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Lampard has indicated that a verdict on whether their ban will be reduced or removed will be given in the next few days.
“I haven’t heard anything more,” Lampard said during Tuesday’s press conference. “Very soon I believe. Days.”
Should Chelsea be freed to make signings ahead of the January transfer window, a move for Chilwell will become the club’s chief priority.
Lampard will have significant funds to spend following their lack of activity and sales of several stars including Eden Hazard and David Luiz, and will launch a move for the 23-year-old as he looks to strengthen at left-back.
Chilwell has established himself as amongst the finest players in the country in his position, cementing his place as a first-choice with England and thriving in Brendan Rodgers’ exciting young side at the King Power Stadium.
Despite Leicester’s current position in the top four of the Premier League, the club have shown previously with the likes of Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Harry Maguire that they are prepared to sell their best talent should they receive an offer that is too good to refuse.
Whether the club would sanction Chilwell’s sale mid-season remains to be seen, Rodgers having expressed an intent to keep his side together as they continue their push for a shock title challenge and Champions League qualification.
According to The Athletic, Chilwell is Chelsea’s ‘number one target’, although they are also considering alternatives, with Lampard having been unconvinced by current options Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso.
Amongst their list of targets include Valencia’s Jose Gaya, who impressed against the club in this season’s Champions League group stage, and Nice utility Youcef Atal who has shone in a variety of positions for the French side this season.
Should Lampard secure one of his left-back targets, a member of his current squad is likely to make way with Emerson having been linked with Juventus and Alonso frozen out in recent weeks.