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Chelsea handed boost as club close in on replacement for transfer target

The Blues remain desperate for additions before the transfer deadline

Chelsea have been handed a deadline day boost in their pursuit of Edson Alvarez as it has emerged that Ajax are closing in on a replacement, with Florian Grillitsch in talks with the Amsterdam club over a free transfer.

The window in the Netherlands closed on Wednesday, meaning that it was unlikely that Ajax could replace Alvarez should they accept the reported 50m euros tabled for the Mexican midfielder by Thomas Tuchel’s side. However, they are on the verge of adding Grillitsch to their ranks, with the Austrian midfielder having been a free agent all summer after his contract with Hoffenheim expired.

He was in talks with several Serie A clubs, but ultimately nothing came to fruition, and talks also broke down with Premier League outfit Brighton.

Grillitsch’s arrival could have zero effect on the future of Edson Alvarez, who has gone on strike as he looks to force through a move to Stamford Bridge.

Ajax have already lost much of their squad this summer; Ryan Gravenberch have both joined Bayern Munich, while Andre Onana left for Inter Milan.

Sebastien Haller joined Borussia Dortmund, and Nicolas Tagliafico left for Lyon.

As a result, Ajax are unwilling to let the midfielder leave, and are not desperate for money given their £200m+ takings already this summer. However, the arrival of Grillitsch, plus the demand of Alvarez to leave the club, could see them decide to cash in on the Mexican in the final hours of the transfer window.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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