Chelsea have aspirations of adding several big-name players to their ranks this summer in a bid to turn themselves back into Premier League title contenders.
It has been a slow start to the summer transfer window for Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel in terms of new additions.
The German, who was appointed as Blues boss back in January, replacing club legend Frank Lampard, is yet to make his first signing in the role, with departures so far dominating this summer’s transfer activity at Stamford Bridge.
A number of players have already left on permanent deals, including the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Marco van Ginkel, but no new additions have yet been made, despite the club preparing themselves to launch a fresh Premier League title charge in 2021/22.
Having won the UEFA Champions League final last month, beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final in Porto, Chelsea are a very attractive proposition for a number of players, with the prospect of playing for the reigning European champions an exciting one.
However, certainly so far, the Blues have not been loosening the purse strings on their transfer kitty to add fresh blood to their ranks.
But although it has been a quiet start to the window, Tuchel, who will watch his side face London rivals Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new Premier League season, has targets in mind, so much so that he settled on them soon after the Champions League final.
It is reported that the German has a firm interest in Wolverhampton Wanderers star Adama Traore, Declan Rice of West Ham United and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, highlighting just how ambitious he is in his attempts to turn the Blues back into Premier League title contenders.
If their reported valuations are anything to go by, Chelsea could be looking at up £260million to land the trio, meaning it is, you would think, unlikely that they will sign all three of them this summer.
However, if Tuchel was to be handed a huge summer war chest in a bid to complete three dream transfers, they would all, most certainly, get the thumbs up from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who is also yet to make a new signing at the Etihad Stadium so far this summer.
With that said, We have taken a close look at what Guardiola has said about all three of the Blues’ reported summer targets in the past.
Back in December 2019, ahead of a tussle between Wolves and Manchester City at Molineux, Guardiola made a special case for praising Traore in his pre-match press conference.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Spaniard’s pace that drew attention from the former Bayern Munich boss.
Guardiola joked: “He is a motorcycle! It’s almost impossible. Nobody can handle this pace.”
The City chief most certainly isn’t wrong. The former Middlesbrough man is a nightmare for defenders to deal with. Although it is likely that he would operate as a wing-back at Stamford Bridge, Traore would be given the license to bomb forward from the back and make things happen.
West Ham star Rice, who will be looking to play a key role in England’s hopes of beating Germany at Euro 2020 on Tuesday, is another of Chelsea’s targets to have earned special praise from Guardiola in the past.
Speaking back in 2018, the former Barcelona chief hailed Rice’s potential, insisting that he has the credentials to become a “top player.”
“Declan Rice is an excellent young player and he will be a top English player for many years to come,” Guardiola admitted in a short assessment.
Since delivering that verdict three years ago, Rice has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the most consistent defensive-minded midfield players in the Premier League.
If the Blues were to find room within their budget this summer to sign the England international then they would be landing another exciting prospect.
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The player that almost every Chelsea fan wants to see arrive at Stamford Bridge this summer, Dortmund star Haaland has also been on the receiving end of a glowing Guardiola assessment.
Ahead of City’s Champions League quarter-final with Dortmund in April, Guardiola was asked to comment on reports linking Haaland with a move to the Etihad Stadium. Whilst he refused to directly comment on the speculation, he had no problem in waxing lyrical about the Leeds-born goal-getter.
Guardiola said: “The numbers speak for themselves. Of course he’s one of the best strikers in the world right now at his age.
“I’ve seen few of his games, honestly, because I didn’t have much time. But I saw the highlights and the numbers in the Champions League and the league are impressive.
“I know the quality of this player and I think everyone knows. But in two weeks I could answer better, because I didn’t see much.”
Although Guardiola’s verdict cannot be considered as unexpected for a player of Haaland’s talents, it just goes to show what, arguably, the greatest football manager in the world thinks of his talents.
In conclusion, Guardiola’s verdicts on all three players prove exactly why the Blues are interested in securing their signatures. Should they get deals over the line for all of them, they could be well on their way to something special.