Chelsea join Liverpool and Man Utd in Jude Bellingham transfer battle | Football

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly

The West Londoners are already catching up (Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea have lately joined the race to sign Jude Bellingham, making him the number one transfer priority for their new sporting director, according to reports.

The Blues have had a somewhat chaotic summer window following the departures of Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck and Petr Cech, with co-owner Todd Boehly taking on the role of interim sporting director.

However, things did not quite go to plan as Chelsea missed a number of top goals, contributing to a rift between the club’s owner and Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked earlier this month.

They are now looking for a new permanent sporting director to lead the recruitment and transfer negotiations but have again been thwarted in their search after being turned down by RB Salzburg’s Christoph Freund.

But whoever Chelsea ultimately appoint, their first task will be to lay the groundwork for a club-record jump for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

According to The Times, the west London club have identified the England international as their top target for next summer as they look to rejuvenate an aging midfield.

Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are 30 and 31 respectively, while both players are currently in the last year of their contracts and can leave on free transfers next summer.

Chelsea are in the race for Jude Bellingham

Bellingham is one of the most sought-after players in Europe (Picture: Getty)

Bellingham, who is just 19, has consistently excelled in the Bundesliga and Champions League – and most recently for England – and could be a mainstay in Chelsea’s midfield for well over a decade.

Unfortunately for the Blues, they are far from the only club interested and everyone else has a substantial head start to begin their charm offensives.

Liverpool have been at the front of the queue for some time and have been trying to edge Bellingham away from Dortmund in the last transfer window, although the German club were adamant they wouldn’t sell two stars that same summer, having already sold Erling Haaland to Manchester City had sold.

But Dortmund have always benefited from their superstars and are willing to let Bellingham go in the region of £130million in a year’s time, with Real Madrid and Manchester United also keen on the teenager.

Chelsea still have time to catch up on the work Liverpool have done on a proposed deal for Bellingham, but the Blues’ new sporting director will have to work fast.

Should Chelsea miss out on the former Birmingham City midfielder, they could turn again to Declan Rice, who has just two years left on his contract and may finally be ready to make the move to a Champions League-level club.

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