How Chelsea can close gap to Man City and Liverpool in one mad week of transfer deals

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After the club’s very future was thrown into doubt, Chelsea are suddenly getting ready to party like it’s 2003.

For all the talk about a different style of ownership, Todd Boehly looks hellbent on recreating that wild summer of arrivals at Stamford Bridge.

Boehly is making moves in the transfer market already

AFP

Boehly is making moves in the transfer market already

The American billionaire, who bought the club from Roman Abramovich in May, has thrown his weight behind manager Thomas Tuchel by backing a number of big-money transfer moves.

Every day a new name of serious pedrigree emerges with genuine links to Chelsea as the Blues plot a major overhaul.

For starters, talkSPORT understands deals for Leeds winger Raphinha and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling are close. Decent players, them two.

With Romelu Lukaku rejoining Inter Milan on loan, as well as Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech possibly heading to Juventus and AC Milan respectively, Tuchel could have an entirely new-look front line to play with.

A defensive exodus sparked fears before the club’s ownership crisis was solved, with exits from Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving a gaping hole in their back line.

However, Boehly looks set to fix that problem, too. Chelsea continue to be linked with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, while Matthjis de Ligt could become part of a deal sending Werner to Juve.

Raphinha is closing in on a move to the Blues

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Raphinha is closing in on a move to the Blues

Sterling is also thought to be heading to west London

Getty

Sterling is also thought to be heading to west London

City’s Nathan Ake has also been linked with a return to the Blues, while the Premier League side are thought to be interested in Inter’s Milan Skriniar as well.

And for talkSPORT’s man in the know, Alex Crook, Chelsea fans have every reason to start getting excited.

“It’s a fascinating situation at Chelsea,” he told talkSPORT. “The new owner has come in and Todd Boehly has pretty much made himself the de facto director of football.

“Marina Granovskaia, who has overseen all of the club’s transfer dealings for a while now, has left her role. So has Petr Cech.

“But you’ve got to say: he’s backing his manager. I think Raheem Sterling will be a Chelsea player in the not-too-distant future.

“They’re in for Nathan Ake, we know that they’re in for Matthijs de Ligt… and now this Raphinha bid comes out of the blue.

De Ligt is Chelsea’s top defensive target

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De Ligt is Chelsea’s top defensive target

“They’ve come in on the blind side and hijacked the Arsenal deal.

“I was worried for Chelsea after losing some key players, Antonio Rudiger and Romelu Lukaku going back to Inter Milan.

“But you have to say: if they get Raphinha and Sterling, those are two very exciting signings for Chelsea fans.”

Meanwhile, ex-Man City winger Trevor Sinclair believes these are signings which will bring Chelsea closer to the Premier League champions.

The Blues finished 19 points adrift of City last season despite threatening to challenge for the title earlier in the campaign.

They were also defeated by second-place Liverpool in two domestic cup finals and eliminated by European champions Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Chelsea remain linked with Kounde as well

getty

Chelsea remain linked with Kounde as well

Tuchel’s men are knocking on the door of Europe’s truly elite teams and Sinclair believes this transfer window could edge them towards to that elusive group.

He told talkSPORT: “It will get them closer, definitely. You look at Raphinha: technical player, he’s got everything.

“Pace, ball retention, threat in the final third… he understands patterns as well, it’s not all about the ball at feet.

“And he’s got a great work ethic. We know all of Marcelo Bielsa’s players had that because they had to pass fitness tests before they could even get anywhere near the squad.

“You’ve got to say he’s a top player. He reminds me a bit of [Riyad] Mahrez. He’s a crowd pleaser.

“If you put Raheem Sterling in that squad and they possibly get another striker, they’re making good moves.”

A lot can change in a week – and this one might just take Chelsea from pretenders to contenders.

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