Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s hopes of landing Ben Chilwell in the summer have been boosted, with Leicester City already beginning to shop for a replacement left-back.
However, Chilwell has established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and has contributed a single goal and three assists in 18 top-flight appearances this term, having also managed five assists last term.
According to Express Sport, Chilwell is a key target for Lampard, who sees the England international as the man to hold down the starting role at Stamford Bridge for years to come.
The 41-year-old coach is not convinced by either of his current options in the position, Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso, and has even reverted to using Cesar Azpilicueta in the position at times although the Spaniard is right-footed. Chilwell has also been eyed by Manchester City but Chelsea will be encouraged by their hopes of landing the Leicester academy graduate if reports from the Daily Mail are to be believed.
That’s because Leicester are looking at Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand as the man to replace Chilwell, as they come to terms with accepting that the defender will leave the King Power Stadium in a few months’ time.
They claim Chelsea had planned to pursue Chilwell in the January transfer window but that signing a new forward has taken greater precedent, with their interest in the Leicester left-back therefore being put on the back-burner.
And that has allowed the Foxes time to begin drawing up plans for how they will replace one of their best performers. Bertrand is into the final 18 months of his Southampton deal and may be available for a lower fee than the Saints might prefer to demand.