Chelsea have failed with an audacious effort to include Timo Werner in a swap deal for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol in recent days.
The German striker is seemingly on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer, following two underwhelming campaigns under Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.
And, he is set for a three way tussle for his signature, with Newcastle United and Juventus both interested in the out-of-favour forward, while RB Leipzig are also keen on a return for their former star man.
Meanwhile, Gvardiol is among Chelsea’s defensive targets as they look to strengthen following the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger at the beginning of the summer. So far, they have added Kalidou Koulibaly to their side, but have seen attempts to lure Jules Kounde, Nathan Ake, Matthijs de Ligt and Presnel Kimpembe all fail.
As a result, a swap deal was perhaps a logical option, but it has been swiftly rebuffed by the German side, who have ‘no intention to sell’ the Croatian defender this summer.
Gvardiol himself has previously poured cold water on departure rumours, citing his desire to stay in Germany.
‘I really enjoy every day with this great team at this top-class club. I don’t think about anything else’, the starlet told Bild.
When asked about whether he will be a Leipzig player in 2022/23, he replied ‘Yes, of course!’ before explaining that he ‘really has no plans’ for his future.
Chelsea running out of options?
With the new season just days away, Chelsea are still one man light in defence from how they finished last season, and are running out of options to fill that gap.
Wesley Fofana remains a target, but the Blues would have to stump up nearly £80m for the Leicester City star and the Foxes would likely demand the deal done sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Pau Torres is also a possibility, and would be an easier deal to do given his release clause with Villareal this summer.
Alternatively, Tuchel could opt for a more under-the-radar option, but it would be a much bigger risk than those that they have pursued and failed to land this summer.