Chelsea to gazump Liverpool now for their priority midfield target in stunning swoop: report

Chelsea and Liverpool target Matheus Nunes during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Liverpool and Wolves on 7 January, 2023 at Anfield in Liverpool, United Kingdom
(Image credit: Jack Thomas – WWFC via Getty Images)

Chelsea are reportedly ready to rival Liverpool in their pursuit of Wolves midfield sensation Matheus Nunes.

The 24-year-old only joined Wolverhampton Wanderers from Sporting Lisbon in August – when Liverpool had initially wanted to sign him – thanks largely to the West Midlands' club's close ties with super-agent Jorge Mendes, whose Gestitute agency looks after Nunes.

Liverpool have repeatedly been linked with a move for the Portugal international this summer – but they could face stiff competition, with recent evidence showing Chelsea of a transfer-market battle.

Matheus Nunes of Wolves in action during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Wolves on 31 August, 2022 at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Nunes cost Wolves a club-record £42.2m (Image credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

According to the Telegraph (opens in new tab), the Blues have added Nunes to their list of potential midfield signings – joining the likes of West Ham United skipper Declan Rice and Brighton & Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo.

The report adds that it would likely take a minimum fee of £55m to secure the services of Nunes – who is valued at just under £40m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

Nunes has made 22 appearances for Wolves – but he might have become Chelsea's first signing under chairman Todd Boehly, with the Blues said to be plotting a £43m bid for him back in July (opens in new tab).

Ultimately, the first major arrival of the Boehly era ended up being Raheem Sterling – and more than a dozen new faces have followed him through the door at Stamford Bridge since.

Matheus Nunes of Portugal looks on during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group H match between Korea Republic and Portugal on 2 December, 2022 at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Nunes featured twice for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup (Image credit: Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

One of the Chelsea's most recent acquisitions was Mykailo Mudryk, who had been the subject of interest from Arsenal – only for the Blues to swoop in and hijack the move, completing a deal worth a potential £89m.

Liverpool have won some big transfer races of their own in recent times, though (they landed Cody Gakpo only a matter of weeks ago) – and with their midfield needs arguably even greater than those of the Blues, the stage could be set for an intense summer tussle.

More Chelsea and Liverpool stories

Declan Rice has reportedly agreed to join Arsenal this summer (opens in new tab), with the West Ham midfielder also a transfer target for Chelsea.

Chelsea have reopened talks over a move for Enzo Fernandez (opens in new tab), whom they were linked with at the start of January. And the Blues are said to have drawn up a four-player transfer shortlist (opens in new tab) for the remainder of the winter window.

Moises Caicedo could be one of two Brighton midfielders heading to Merseyside: the Reds are said to be in a four-way race to sign Alexis Mac Allister, with three European sides also reportedly keen on the Argentine World Cup winner.

Liverpool are also thought to be working on a £44m summer deal for Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes, while they could go head-to-head with Tottenham for for Sofyan Amrabat, who starred for Morocco at Qatar 2022. In other news, recent Anfield arrival Cody Gakpo has revealed that compatriot Virgil van Dijk influenced his decision to join the Reds.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...