Chelsea are set to battle a Premier League rival for the signing of one player this transfer window, after having bids for multiple players rejected in the past few days.
With Mauricio Pochettino currently in the process of overhauling his Chelsea squad this summer, the Argentine has started focussing on central midfield and up front as areas that need work.
It doesn't look likely that Moises Caicedo will be joining Chelsea this summer, meanwhile, with the Blues having a fourth bid for the Ecuadorian midfielder rejected.
Brighton instantly turned down Chelsea's £80m offer on Thursday according to The Athletic, with the Seagulls looking for at least £100m to let Caicedo leave. While his contract runs until 2027, Chelsea have had offers of £60m, £65m and £70m all previously rejected, too.
As a result, the same report suggests the Blues could turn their attention instead to Romeo Lavia, despite Liverpool's strong interest in the Belgian midfielder. Jurgen Klopp's side have already had two bids of their own rejected by Southampton, with the Championship club looking for £50m for the 19-year-old.
Due to their failed attempts for Caicedo Chelsea could now hijack any potential deal Liverpool might do with Southampton and Lavia by stumping up a better offer.
Transfer expert Ben Jacobs suggests Chelsea will table an offer higher than Liverpool's in order to address their lack of options in central midfield. Currently, only Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka are senior midfielders at the club.
Chelsea's interest in Lavia is long-standing, too. On deadline day in the summer of 2022, the Blues offered Southampton £50m for the teenager. This came despite Saints having signed him for just £14m earlier in the same window and Lavia playing just five Premier League games in his career.
More Chelsea stories
Chelsea transfer news is starting to gather pace.
Having already signed Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson in attack, the Blues have been linked with a sensational swoop for Kylian Mbappe. The two-time European champions are still trying to offload Romelu Lukaku, though, with the striker thought to favour a move to Juventus.
Meanwhile, Chelsea could bring academy graduate Marc Guehi back to Stamford Bridge – just two years after selling the defender to Crystal Palace.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.