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Chelsea pushing for ‘one last transfer’ as deadline day looms large

Wesley Fofana is expected to complete a minimum £70million transfer from Leicester to Chelsea on Tuesday.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Photo: Kieran Cleeves

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Chelsea expect to announce the signing of Wesley Fofana from Leicester imminently and they are planning “one final transfer” ahead of next Thursday transfer deadline.

Fofana is expected to complete a minimum £70million transfer from Leicester to Chelsea, with the Frenchman undergoing his Blues medical ahead of his move.

Now eyes are turning to what might come next for Chelsea, with deals for Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Everton’s Anthony Gordon seen as “difficult” to complete in the final days of the transfer window.

Now it has emerged that Chelsea are considering a move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha as a possible alternative to Aubameyang, with boss Thomas Tuchel still hoping to see more new faces arriving before the Thursday night deadline.

Chelsea have already recruited Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella as new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali make good on bold plans for spending and a squad revamp.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been linked with a move to Chelsea, but that is also considered to be a tough deal to conclude, with talks ongoing for several players as the Blues weigh up their options.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s advisers are also still pushing Chelsea to assess whether they will do a deal to being the Manchester United star to Stamford Bridge, but Tuchel believed to be against that option.

Chelsea’s German coach has insisted he is happy with the squad at the window’s close whatever the situation, but also admitted he hopes for further additions.

“Right now I think we could need some more players in some positions, but it’s very close to the end of the transfer window and when September 1 comes, I will be a happy coach no matter what happens,” said Tuchel.

“I will try to find solutions and not think about what might have happened or what could be.

“Everything that matters is reality and at the moment (against Leicester) what mattered was finding a way to win.

“What will matter at Southampton is the same, find a way to win, step up individually and push the team from my side. This is what we will do no matter if players will come or not.”

Spain defender Azpilicueta has found himself on the bench in the opening weeks of the campaign amid Chelsea’s transforming squad, but Tuchel insisted the 33-year-old Azpilicueta still has a vital role to play at Stamford Bridge despite all the off-field changes.

Asked how tough it is not to select Azpilicueta in the starting line-up, Tuchel replied: “At the moment it is one of the toughest decisions because he trains so well and is in such good shape and status mentally.

“He is pushing everybody and is fully committed – it’s normally what you want on the field.

“But if we play 4-4-2, it’s between him or Reece James. It’s a luxury problem we have but when we changed to a back five (against Leicester) we had the chance to have both of them on the pitch.

“Without tough decisions we will get nowhere. We are used to competing for every title at Chelsea, competing at the highest level.

“If we don’t have tough decisions it will simply not happen. We hope to have 60 matches but to have 60 matches we have to have a squad where everybody is ready to play and have a lot of difficult decisions.

“On Saturday we ended up, more or less, in a situation where we had almost no more central defenders on the bench.

“Now we had N’Golo (Kante) injured and Conor Gallagher with a yellow-red card.

“So there are not enough tough decisions at the moment. I would like to have more of these, that would mean we are in full competition mode.”

Chelsea are also looking to off-load players, with Callum Hudson-Odoi competing his medical ahead of a loan move to Bayer Leverkusen.

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