Chelsea are closing in on a £40million move for Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk Credit: AFP or licensors
CHELSEA are closing on a £40million swoop for Brighton defender Lewis Dunk.
London rivals Tottenham are also interested in the Seagulls’ skipper.
But Dunk is a lifelong Chelsea fan and believes he is on his way to Stamford Bridge.
Blues boss Frank Lampard needs to stiffen up a defence that conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last season — more than any other team in the top ten.
Chelsea have also considered a move for former Blues academy starlet Declan Rice — but West Ham value the England ace at a massive £80m.
And Dunk, a consistent performer in Brighton’s three seasons back in the top flight, is now emerging as the leading candidate.
He has been with the Seagulls since the age of ten and became only the fourth player from the club to win a senior England cap when he made his debut in 2018.
But the 28-year-old has made no secret of his love for Chelsea.
Dunk’s childhood idol was former Blues and England captain John Terry and he even named the family dog Didier after another Stamford Bridge legend Didier Drogba.
Brighton fans began fearing they could lose their captain when they noticed he was absent from recent club promotional material.
And his exit is set to be confirmed if Chelsea can match the Seagulls’ valuation, with Ben White expected to step in at centre-back after returning from his loan spell at Leeds.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich has already sanctioned the £36.7m signing of Hakim Ziyech and a £48m deal for Timo Werner — with an £80m deal for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz also in the pipeline.
Signing Dunk would be another statement of intent as Chelsea try to build on Lampard’s encouraging first season in charge in which Blues finished fourth and secured a Champions League place for next season.