Chelsea transfer news: Todd Boehly is reportedly eyeing a January move for Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia as his new recruitment structure is finalised behind the scenes.
Chelsea are expected to be busy again in January after an eye-catching summer transfer window that saw the new ownership break records in a £250million splurge. Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Welsey Fofana contributed to most of that heavy spending in a period that saw massive change behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge.
Although January can sometimes be seen as a barren wasteland to do good business, it does not look like Todd Boehly is going to rest on his laurels. According to agent and columnist Haydn Dodge, the Blues are set for more appointments to their growing recruitment team ahead of the new year.
Writing for Caught Offside, Dodge said: “From what we‘ve been told, the three people in discussions are Stuart Webber from Norwich City, Christopher Vivell from RB Leipzig and Joe Shields from Southampton. All of them have the pedigree and know the model of bringing young players through from their time spent at Norwich, Leipzig and Southampton, respectfully.”
Shields was already confirmed by the club as the new co-director of recruitment and talent, only a day after another statement announced the arrival of Laurence Stewart as a technical director from Monaco. football.london has previously reported that Vivell has been in talks with Chelsea to come in as a technical director but has yet to be confirmed.
The Athletic originally reported last month that Webber was being considered for a role after his work at Norwich, also helping Huddersfield’s promotion to the Premier League as sporting director in 2017.
Focusing on acquiring young players has been a noteworthy part of Chelsea’s transfer strategy under Boehly, buying the likes of Omari Hutchinson, Cesare Casadei and Carney Chukwuemeka from domestic or European rivals. Arsen Zakharyan from Zenit and Endrick from Palmeiras are rumoured to be next on the list for 2023.
Dodge goes onto say that in January “one of the players at the top of their list to bring in, in January will be Southampton’s Romeo Lavia”. The Southampton midfielder scored against Chelsea back in August and has been linked with the club since his summer switch to the Saints from Manchester City.
Central midfield is arguably the most pressing area of need for Graham Potter given the injury issues faced by N’Golo Kante and the lack of investment in that position over multiple years. Kante and Jorginho’s contracts run out at the end of this season, which only increases the pressing need for new additions.
Mateo Kovacic has been struggling with a nagging knee issue since the summer, clearly affecting his form and availability for Potter, not starting Sunday’s game against Arsenal after being fully rested the previous midweek against Dinamo Zagreb.
The pressure is increasing on Chelsea and Potter ahead of the World Cup which is only likely to result in more spending, but whether that will be focused in the right direction is the defining question.