For months Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles has been tipped as a top Blues transfer target in the summer, partly to further their English contingent but mainly as a defender that will likely prove a long-term replacement for the 32-year old Gary Cahill.
Once (if ever) a new manager is installed at Chelsea it’s expected that the club will make advances to Newcastle United for their captain, with the defender said to be priced at around £45 million due to his importance and standing with the north east club.
However, according to the London Evening Standard Tottenham Hotspur are set to go head-to-head for Jamaal Lascelles, and worryingly for Blues fans, it would appear that with a new stadium and Champions League football on-offer it may be that Spurs are edging ahead as favourites.
The 24-year old has impressed in his first season season in the Premier League with Newcastle, making 33 league appearances out of 38, and chipped in with three goals for Rafa Benitez’s side – ultimately taking the club to an impressive 10th-place finish.
Newcastle do not want to sell Lascelles, but with Benitez unsure of how much money he will have to spend in the window, it may be that selling the Englishman for as much money as possible will allow the Spaniard to reinvest into more players in other areas.
There are doubts over the long-term future of David Luiz who has fallen out of the starting eleven at Chelsea under Antonio Conte, a new manager may change that, but should he be sold, combined with the need for a successor to Gary Cahill, the Blues could make the more compelling case to sign Jamaal Lascelles and sell the move as him becoming their long-term mainstay in defence to lead the club to domestic and European success.