Chelsea linked with big money moves for Germany defender and France forward

The latest press reports are linking Chelsea with summer swoops for versatile Germany defender Benjamin Henrichs and France forward Anthony Martial.

Henrichs, 21, was part of the Confederations Cup winning squad selected by Joachim Loew last summer. Naturally a right back, he has played in a variety of defensive positions for current club Bayer Leverkusen this season.

Reports claim there is a £31,000,000 buyout clause in Henrichs’ contract and that the Blues are willing to meet that asking price. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive prospects in the Bundesliga having been awarded the Under-19 Fritz Walter Medal in 2016.

Chelsea’s rumoured interest in Henrichs, who has Ghanaian heritage, may mean that out of Victor Moses and 2017 summer transfer window signing Davide Zappacosta one will be surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

If he moves to the Blues, Henrichs will join fellow Germany international defender Antonio Ruediger in West London. His ability to play as a wingback is understood to be a key factor in Chelsea’s interest.

Blues fans may also get to see first-hand what other rumoured summer target Martial can do when his current club Manchester United contest the FA Cup final against them on Saturday, 19 May. Betting on who will lift the trophy at Wembley is tight, with Chelsea just being shaded out by the Red Devils as favourites.

When the Blues beat United in the 2008 FA Cup final, they needed extra time and big match performer Didier Drogba to score the winner. A draw in 90 minutes cannot be ruled out entirely from a punting perspective.

Despite a Premier League run-in that includes games against Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United, Chelsea aren’t fancied for a top-four finish according to the latest sports betting with double-figure prices available at some bookies. Many interested observers will have used a free bet to back the Blues, due to the uncertainty.

Martial, 22, has been in and out of the Man Utd team under former Blues boss Jose Mourinho this season but still managed to net over 10 goals across all competitions. Used largely from the left flank, he would have Eden Hazard to contend with if used in a similar area at the Bridge – though, Real Madrid could launch a bid for the Belgium star.

With one year left on his current Old Trafford contract, Martial could leave Manchester for free at the end of next season. He is already thought to be attracting interest from Chelsea’s London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Italian Serie A giants Juventus.

Old Monaco teammate Tiemoue Bakayoko is already on the Blues’ books alongside fellow France internationals N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud, who moved across the capital from Arsenal in January. If bought to play as a striker, Martial would face competition from Spain’s Alvaro Morata and Giroud at Chelsea.

There is also Mourinho’s long-standing reported interest in Brazil right winger Willian, who plays down the right at the Bridge, with the manager already going back to his former club to sign Serbia anchorman Nemanja Matic last summer. Martial could even form part of a swap deal for Willian if relations between the two clubs remain good.


Feature Image: Anthony Martial” by Дмитрий Голубович (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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