Chelsea join race to sign Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda
Mauricio Pochettino is keen on signing another right-back before the transfer window closes on September 1st after Chelsea skipper Reece James suffered a hamstring injury in training last week.
The England international is now facing a spell on the sidelines with reports suggesting he could be out for months. James, who was in action for Chelsea in their Premier League opener against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge last weekend, has begun his rehabilitation after doctors provided the worrying diagnosis.
The 23-year-old’s injury is a big blow for Chelsea and Pochettino is now hoping to bring in cover this month. Fresneda has emerged as a target and the teenager is ready to leave Valladolid following their relegation from La Liga last season.
ESPN claims that Chelsea have been tracking the 18-year-old for some time and are now eyeing a swoop for the youngster. The Blues would have ‘no problem’ paying his asking price – which will be up to £8.5m – but Barcelona are providing stiff competition.
The report suggests that Fresneda is waiting to see whether Barcelona are going to complete a proposed move for him before making a final decision on his future.
As per ESPN, Barca director Deco is keen to sign Fresneda as a long-term solution to their right-back problems but manager Xavi would prefer to sign a more experienced option such as Man City’s Joao Cancelo.
Barca have been heavily linked with a move for Cancelo – who fell out of favour at City last season and finished the campaign on loan at Bayern Munich. The 29-year-old has returned to the Etihad Stadium this summer but he’s expected to leave before the end of the month.
Talks between Barca and Man City are at an advanced stage, however, a deal is yet to be agreed. It’s believed that it’s only a matter of time before Cancelo completes his move to the Nou Camp, which would likely end Barca’s interest in Fresneda.
That would be a big boost for Chelsea, however, the Blues could yet face further competition for Fresneda’s signature as ESPN suggests that West Ham, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Arsenal and Benfica are also showing an interest.