Lampard signing this 24-year-old Brazilian star as £80m star’s alternative would be more sensible

According to the Daily Express, Chelsea have identified Nice midfielder Danilo Barbosa as a cheaper alternative to top target Declan Rice. The Blues have been left frustrated in their efforts to get a deal over the line for Rice, with West Ham refusing to lower their £80million asking price for the England international.

Frank Lampard’s side still retain an interest in re-signing their former academy reject and could make a move in January or next summer, but they are ready to consider other options as well.

Atalanta star Marten de Roon has been lined up as a potential target on a free transfer next summer but Chelsea also have Brazil U-23 international Danilo on their radar as a younger option.

Danilo would add more depth to Chelsea’s midfield
Chelsea aren’t really crying out for cover in the middle of the park, with established players like Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho competing for places in Lampard’s ranks. The Blues also boast one of the hottest young talents in the Premier League in Billy Gilmour, so they certainly don’t need to go berserk in search of a new midfielder.

Truth be told, Chelsea shouldn’t hesitate to explore other avenues if West Ham refuse to budge on their massive valuation of Declan Rice. That’s not to undermine Rice’s status as one of the best young defensive midfielders in English football, but the Blues don’t really need to plan such a massive outlay when they have already got quality players in that department.

Jorginho remains very much a part of Lampard’s plans. Hence, the Blues ideally need to look for a squad player rather than a world-class talent in the middle of the park.

Danilo, to that end, presents a quality option in the right age bracket for Chelsea. The Brazilian star has already recorded more than 150 club career appearances playing top-flight football in Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium combined. He has been fairly impressive wherever he has played and at 24, the time might just be right for him to make the step up to the Premier League.

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