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Chelsea 'offer contract to Premier League defender'

Chelsea 'offer contract to Premier League defender'
© Reuters
Chelsea reportedly offer a contract to a highly-regarded Premier League player who is available on a free transfer.

Chelsea are reportedly making an effort to sign a Premier League defender on a free transfer.

Having parted ways with Mauricio Pochettino last week, the priority of co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital is to find a suitable replacement.

As it stands, everything points to Leicester City head coach Enzo Maresca being appointed as Pochettino's successor over the coming days.

However, such is Chelsea's business model that their transfer activity is largely conducted by a recruitment team spearheaded by co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

Courtesy of Chelsea's well-documented financial issues, it is known that sales are likely to be made prior to the next accounting date of June 30 as they bid to meet the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Nevertheless, with Thiago Silva leaving on a free transfer, a suitable alternative is required, and it appears that the Blues are eager to acquire the services of a player who is also available as a free agent.

Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo in action with Newcastle United's Alexander Isak on April 6, 2024© Reuters

Chelsea make move for Adarabioyo

According to Sky Sports News, Chelsea are interested in securing a deal for Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo.

The centre-back has spent the last four years at Craven Cottage, making a total of 132 appearances in all competitions and playing his part in a successful Championship promotion campaign in 2021-22.

Fulham have been eager to tie down the 26-year-old to a new contract, but he appears certain to depart Chelsea's neighbours given the interest in his signature.

Newcastle United are also said to be admirers of the former Manchester City youngster, and others could get involved in due course as a result of the value for money that he could offer.

Adarabioyo made a total of 20 Premier League appearances during 2023-24, but did not feature in the squad for the final four fixtures, with the assumption that Fulham were already planning for life without him in the squad.

Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo celebrates after the match on December 19, 2023© Reuters

Where would Adarabioyo fit in at Chelsea?

Regardless of Silva's exit, Chelsea are still well stocked for central defenders with Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill all competing for two places.

Wesley Fofana also features in the squad, but the Frenchman will be provided with the time to fully recover from a serious knee injury that has kept him sidelined all season.

Chelsea's co-owners are happy to cash in on Chalobah, despite his influence in recent months, and acquiring Adarabioyo for nothing may be viewed as shrewd business on that front.

While Adarabioyo would be a candidate for a regular spot in Chelsea's backline, he would earn more at Newcastle given the long-term injuries to Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles.

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