Chelsea face Man Utd threat for Ben Chilwell transfer as Blues chiefs stunned by price tag (Image: GETTY)
Chelsea may have to beat competition from Manchester United for left-back Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea could face competition from Manchester United to sign Leicester’s Ben Chilwell this summer, even though the Foxes want as much as £80million for the left-back.
Chilwell is the next Leicester star to attract interest from the Premier League’s top six, with Manchester City also admirers of the England international.
And the Foxes face a battle to keep the England international, who has 11 caps for the Three Lions, but are holding firm on their valuation.
They want the same fee that United paid for centre-back Harry Maguire a year ago, when the Red Devils paid a world record fee for a defender of £80m.
Chilwell has racked up 99 Premier League appearances for the King Power Stadium outfit and is a key member of Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The Daily Mirror say that with Chelsea reluctant to match Leicester’s price tag, United could swoop in and try to sign the 23-year-old.
Chelsea are said to have offered a fee far lower than £80m in the talks they have held about Chilwell so far.
And the Mirror add that other Champions League clubs are also keeping close tabs on the Leicester academy graduate, who is under contract until 2024.
Frank Lampard wants a long-term solution at left-back and does not trust either Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri to do the job he wants.
But if the Blues are to land the manager’s top target, they will have to up what they are willing to offer Leicester for Chilwell.
The Londoners risk missing out to their rivals, with United looking to upgrade on Luke Shaw among them, if they do not.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein meanwhile claims that Chelsea chiefs are not entirely convinced about Chilwell, which could partly be why they are reluctant to pay up the £80m and get a deal done.
Nor are they sold on West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice, who Lampard wants to put at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Ornstein said of Chelsea on the Tifo Podcast’s Ask Ornstein show: “They will of course look to strengthen defensively.
“We know of their interest in Ben Chilwell of Leicester. I don’t think everybody is convinced at Chelsea about the fee that it will take to prise him out of Leicester’s hands, maybe around £50m.
“Frank Lampard definitely wants to sign him and I do think Chelsea are ahead of Manchester City in the pecking order.
“City are also interested but they’re still involved in Champions League football. They, like Chelsea, would have to move on one or more left-backs to free up the space and potentially the finance too.
“That’s going to be a really interesting one and both clubs have other options too.
“In central defence, we know that Lampard is very fond of Declan Rice at West Ham and would like to convert him from a midfielder into a top centre-back.
“I know people in football who think he can become world class in that position.
“West Ham will demand an incredibly high fee, sources have suggested in the region of £65m to £70m, they don’t need to sell and they’re in a strong position contractually.
“I don’t think everybody at Chelsea is convinced by Declan Rice but it’s definitely one that Lampard wants.
“They’ve already made attacking additions as we know with Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and it’s going to be a busy summer at Stamford Bridge as they look to get back to challenging for the very top honours on a regular basis.”