Chelsea report: Jude Bellingham top target for new-look Blues recruitment team

Jude Bellingham
(Image credit: Getty)

Chelsea view Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham as a top transfer target, according to reports, while West Ham captain Declan Rice is still of interest to the Stamford Bridge club.

The Blues had an extraordinarily busy summer, spending a world record £273 million on a glut of new signings.

Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Raheem Sterling were among the big-money arrivals as new owner Todd Boehly stamped his authority on the club.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly

Boehly oversaw a frantic summer of transfer activity for Chelsea.  (Image credit: Getty)

A report in the Evening Standard (opens in new tab)says that Chelsea are now looking at re-jigging the team in charge of transfer activity before the window re-opens in January.

Joe Shields is set to join from Southampton as a co-director of the scouting department, while Christopher Vivell will come in from RB Leipzig as a technical director.

Boehly, who put himself in charge of transfers over the summer, will be less involved after the arrival of the pair, but he will present them with a list of targets.

Chelsea are looking at bolstering their central midfield options, with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both in the final year of their contracts.

West Ham United captain Declan Rice gestures during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United on 4 September, 2022 at Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom

Rice has a contract until 2024 with West Ham.  (Image credit: Offside via Getty Images)

England star Bellingham is a major target, but the Blues are likely to face stiff competition from the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United for the 19-year-old. 

West Ham skipper Rice has long been linked with a return to his former club Chelsea, and the west London club remain admirers.

The 23-year-old has a contract until 2024 with the Hammers, who are likely to demand a big fee for a player who is valued at £72 million by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

More Chelsea stories

Chelsea are said to have made long-term target Declan Rice their top transfer target for 2023.

Meanwhile, it's been reported that the Blues at the front of the queue to sign AC Milan and Portugal forward Rafael Leao and that they've already made an acceptable offer to RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku.

In other news, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has described how he's found it "strange" not to be playing under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea – after the German was sacked last month.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.