Chelsea in talks to buy Portuguese club

James Shearman 29 Sep 2022 21:29 BST 5 min read
Todd Boehly, Chelsea owner

Chelsea are in talks to buy Liga Portugal club Portimonense as part of a multi-club network in the mold of Manchester City's.

Cristiano Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, has been called upon to help the Blues owners decide which Portuguese club to select.

And fourth-placed side Portimonense appear the current front runners, while French side Sochaux and Brazilian club Santos have also been discussed.

Owners Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano are keen to replicate the City Football Group, who own teams in 11 countries.

They are also inspired by the Red Bull football group, who own RB Leipzig, RB Salzburg and others in the United States and Brazil.

''We’ve talked about having a multi-club model,'' Boehly said at the SALT Conference earlier this month. ''I would love to continue to build out the footprint. There are different countries where there are advantages to having a club. Red Bull does a good job. Manchester City has a big network of clubs.

''Our goal is to ensure pathways for our young stars to get on to the Chelsea pitch while getting them real game time. To do that is through another club in a really competitive league in Europe.''

Chelsea's summer signings ranked

FootballTransfers ranks Chelsea’s summer transfer business that will now be up to new manager Graham Potter to make the most of.

Youngsters Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina have not been included as they are yet to make first-team debuts.

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Barcelona (€12m)

Chelsea brought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the Premier League after a spell in Barcelona in the hope that he would showcase his best form instead of the problems he caused at Arsenal prior to his departure.

And while the deal was initially reasonable, the sacking of Tuchel - the man who lured Aubameyang to Stamford Bridge - means that Chelsea run a great risk of having another highly-paid flop on their hands.

The 33-year-old has managed two starts in the Champions League for Chelsea, failing to score in either.

4. Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli (€38m)

Chelsea had been long-term admirers of Kalidou Koulibaly but were often quoted extortionate fees for the defender, but they finally secured his signing this summer for £34m.

Koulibaly has made a poor start to his Chelsea career so far but the Senegal international should turn out to be a capable replacement for Antonio Rudiger at left centre-back.

3. Wesley Fofana – Leicester (€80m)

Wesley Fofana established himself as one of the finest young defenders in Europe during his two seasons at Leicester after joining them from Saint-Etienne for £36.5m.

However, the 21-year-old is coming off the back of a broken leg which ruled him out of almost all of last season, having been a player renowned for his physicality.

Chelsea made Fofana one of the most expensive defenders of all-time despite the Frenchman having yet to prove his fitness and long-term value at that price, a risk that has not yet paid off in the 2022-23 season.

2. Marc Cucurella – Brighton (€65m)

Marc Cucurella impressed during his sole season at Brighton and has continued his good form going into his early days at Chelsea, proving why teams like Manchester City and Barcelona were interested.

The £58m fee was steep for a player who may also find himself competing with Ben Chillwell, another £50m signing in 2020, but the Spaniard has been a solid addition to The Blues' squad.

1. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City (€56m)

The signing of Raheem Sterling has already paid dividends for Chelsea, with the England international netting four times in eight games in all competitions to top the scoring charts for the Blues.

Sterling was heading into the final year of his contract at Manchester City, prompting Chelsea to swoop in and beat a host of teams to his signature for £47.5m; a shrewd deal all around.