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top targets Chelsea set out the criteria for new signings in the final days of the transfer window


Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has hailed Trevoh Chalobah’s breakthrough into the Chelsea first team (Nick Potts/PA)

Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has hailed Trevoh Chalobah’s breakthrough into the Chelsea first team (Nick Potts/PA)

Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has hailed Trevoh Chalobah’s breakthrough into the Chelsea first team (Nick Potts/PA)

Chelsea are still open to the prospect of signing a defender in the final days of this month's transfer window and they have set their sights on signing players with an eye on the future.

The sale of Tammy Abraham to Roma pushed Chelsea's transfer outgoings towards the £100million mark for this summer, with the £97.5million capture of Romelu Lukaku their only major signing of this transfer window.

It means that Chelsea may still have cash to spend in the transfer market if the right deal is presented to them, yet sundayworld.com have been informed by sources close to the club that new arrivals need to fit a defined criteria.

Chelsea have been chasing a defensive signing all summer, but they are looking to sign young players who could be developed into long-term first team performers to take over from experienced performers such as Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.

With additional signings in this transfer window not seen as crucial following the capture of Lukaku, Chelsea are keen to build a squad that will provide a foundation of success for years to come under boss Thomas Tuchel.

Younger players who can bring down the average age of the squad are now a priority for Chelsea over the next couple of transfer window, with Sevilla's Jules Koundé still a top target.

Respected reporter Fabrizio Romano broke the story that Chelsea are interested in French centre-back Koundé and while he fits the age criteria as he is just 22-years-old, talks over a move have stalled in recent weeks as a transfer fee could not be agreed.

The future of Kurt Zouma could be crucial to Chelsea's next move in the transfer window, with the 26-year-old not convinced he will get regular first team football under Tuchel.

Tottenham are among the clubs to have expressed an interest in Zouma, but the north London club are not close to agreeing a deal to sign the defender.

Emerson Palmieri's loan move to Lyon on Friday saw another defender leave Chelsea, with Ethan Ampadu also being linked with a move away from the club on loan.

Yet Trevoh Chalobah’s promotion to the senior squad adds further kudos to Chelsea’s Cobham training ground academy and Tuchel vowed never to shut off the impressive production lines that account for the likes of current first-team players and England stars Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Asked if Chalobah’s promotion offers a reminder that young talent can still progress at Chelsea, Tuchel replied: "Always. Always, always, always, and the door is always open.

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"Actually, I love it and I truly believe that the supporters love it. The mix between big-name players from abroad, big personalities and famous players can mix with academy guys. This is what makes the club special.

"And when you look in the photo when we raise the trophy in Champions League there are so many boys from the academy in this photo."

Koundé is still Chelsea's top transfer target in the defensive role, but there is no guarantee that they will meet Sevilla's asking price for the player and the same is true of midfielder Saul Niguez, who has been offered to Chelsea in recent weeks.

Liverpool have also been linked with Niguez, who is available for around £45million, with the two Premier League clubs yet to make any firm offers for the 26-year-old.

Chelsea's business model on transfers has been hailed by their former midfielder Joe Cole, who suggested their success in selling fringe players to fund big money signings is a model that is working well.

"The people who bought the club when I went to Chelsea are very intelligent and they have built a successful business model that is sustainable," Cole told sundayworld.com.

"They use the academy system to produce players that are either good enough to play in the first team like Mason Mount, or they sell them and fund new signings.

"The people in charge of Chelsea have found a way of winning trophies and funding new players all at once, so you have to give them credit for how they do it."

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