One signing could become two very quickly, as Chelsea are closing in on completing a deal to sign centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly from Italian side Napoli in deal worth £34million. The Senegal international is set to fly out to meet Chelsea’s squad in Los Angeles – where they are taking part in a pre-season training camp – and complete a medial ahead of signing officially for the West London club.
Following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively earlier this summer, new centre-backs are expected to be the priority and the Blues are believed to be targeting further defensive recruits, even after the arrival of Koulibaly goes through.
Chelsea are lining up a move to sign French centre-back Presnel Kimpembe from Paris Saint-Germain, while Nathan Ake could return to Chelsea from City.
Should the Blues’ business go as planned, it is likely to have a major impact on the club’s best XI going into the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. Here is a look at how Tuchel’s side could line-up next season.
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In goal, there is no change from the last two seasons, with Edouard Mendy likely to keep his place after two excellent years at Stamford Bridge since being signed from Rennes to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The back three, should Chelsea get their transfer wishes, could see potential new signings Koulibaly and Kimpembe play either side of Thiago Silva in the back three, with Rudiger and Christensen gone and captain Cesar Azpilicueta also linked with a summer move to Barcelona.
In the wing-back spots, Reece James and Ben Chilwell remain the club’s best options. Both missed big chunks of last season through injury but, when they were available, the England duo ranked among the club’s best players.
While French World Cup winner N’Golo Kante has also had trouble staying fit, he remains a class act when available for Tuchel. Mateo Kovacic is likely to be his primary partner, while Jorginho would also be hot on the duo’s heels.
New signing Sterling is set to be one of the two wingers up front and could play alongside international teammate Mason Mount in the front three.
With club-record signing Romelu Lukaku returning to Inter Milan on loan just a year after his £97.5m return to Stamford Bridge, Kai Havertz – who scored the winning goal in the 2020 Champions League final – is likely to lead the attack, with Timo Werner in reserve.