Chelsea are reportedly monitoring Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles with a view to sealing a summer move for the Englishman.
According to a report from Evening Standard, Jamaal Lascelles is on the radar of Chelsea, who are monitoring his performances with the intent of potentially moving to sign the Newcastle defender when the summer transfer window opens.
The report entails that Chelsea are looking to add one more central defender to their roster in summer and have shortlisted Lascelles as one of the many potential targets for the summer transfer window. And perhaps rightly so.
Jamaal Lascelles has been one of the standout performers for an otherwise average-looking Newcastle side so far. The 24-year-old is integral to Rafa Benitez’s plans at the club and will be key to their survival in the Premier League by the end of the season. Also, Lascelles seems to be loving life under the manager, with both of them sharing mutual respect for each other’s abilities.
But, the rumblings around Newcastle United Football Club present a very clear view. Rafa Benitez is frustrated at the lack of funding made available to strengthen the squad. Thus, if the takeover somehow fails and Mike Ashley is still in charge, it is difficult to see Benitez remain the manager beyond the season, regardless of whether Newcastle are able to beat the drop.
And if Benitez goes, Lascelles is unlikely to stay put at Tyneside and will have several offers on the table, seemingly as the player has already created several admirers in the Premier League with his tenacity and presence at the back.
Chelsea do have Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger – a trio seen widely as the main three going forward. Gary Cahill is soon to turn 33 while David Luiz is also on the wrong side of 30 and on the wrong side of the current manager, perhaps.
While Ethan Ampadu has been brought into the first-team setup by Conte, there does appear to be a need to strengthen the options at the back, which has already seen Chelsea being linked to Stefan De Vrij, who will be running his Lazio contract down and would be available on a free transfer at the end of the season.
But, the presence of Barcelona and other clubs in the picture might make the pursuit a bit more challenging. Add to it the fact that Jamaal Lascelles would boost the quota of English players at the club – a factor which saw Chelsea go for the likes of Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater over other targets – and we might well see them prioritise the Newcastle man over De Vrij.
Lascelles, at 24, will serve as a long-term addition at Chelsea and could well prove to a quality signing quite like Gary Cahill’s transfer from Bolton Wanderers. A deal that should be completed by Chelsea but only if they fail in their pursuit of Stefan De Vrij or other higher profile targets.