Liverpool beat Chelsea to £32m deal, Tuchel weighing shock move for Leicester City man, as Blues receive double injury blow
According to CaughtOffside, Liverpool has beat Chelsea to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate for £32m, with the deal set to be announced on May 1st,
The Frenchman is believed to have a release clause that would allow the transfer to go ahead without any negotiation, and Smith claims the Reds have sealed the move:
Whether this turns out to be true, we shall have to wait and see. Reliable journalist David Ornstein had originally claimed that the Reds were in advanced talks to snap up Konate, but those reports were later played down somewhat by other sources.
However, Chelsea and Manchester United were also believed to be interested in the 21-year-old but it seems Liverpool have gone early in the market to prevent others from hijacking the deal.
The fact that their interest in Konate entered the public domain may have also forced them to speed up the process and clinch a deal before the end of the season.
Tuchel weighing shock move for Leicester City man
According to Fichajes, Chelsea are one of three Premier League teams who are pursuing Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Spanish website reports that manager “Thomas Tuchel is very convinced” by the Nigerian international’s performances this campaign, with the former Manchester City player having racked up 15 in 31 appearances for the Foxes.
However, it is also believed that Iheanacho is being watched by Manchester United and Arsenal, who are considering strengthening their options in attack.
Chelsea’s interest is thought to relate to the fact that both Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham could leave at the end of the season. Erling Haaland is expected to be the Blues’ top target but the fierce competition for the Norwegian’s signature may force them into seeking alternatives.
Iheanacho is unlikely to be the only name being considered by the London club’s recruitment department. Bringing in a striker is said to be a main priority for the summer and a number of other forwards will inevitably be linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks.
Blues receive double injury blow
Chelsea defender Thiago Silva remains a doubt for this weekend’s clash against West Ham. The Brazilian missed the match versus Brighton on Tuesday due to fatigue and it isn’t yet known whether he needs more time to recover.
He was pictured in training ahead of the game midweek but, in his pre-match press conference, manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed that the player needed to rest. At 36 years of age, the centre-back does need more than a few days between games to ensure he is 100% fit.
Mateo Kovacic’s return date is also uncertain. The Croatian international picked up a hamstring problem ahead of the match against Porto, and he has now missed three games, including the win over Manchester City in the FA Cup and the stalemate against the Seagulls.
Tuchel described the issue as a “little muscle injury” but hamstrings can take a while to heal properly, and even if he is fit to return to training later this week, he may only be ready to take his place on the bench versus West Ham.