Which players are Chelsea watching at the World Cup?

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • Updated: 27 Nov 2022 19:18 GMT
  • 4 min read
Benjamin Pavard Adrien Rabiot Chelsea
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Chelsea are keeping a keen eye on some players at the World Cup in Qatar with new owner Todd Boehly braced for just his second transfer window as Chelsea owner in January…

The Blues were the biggest spenders in world football last summer, dropping more than €280 million on the likes of Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Wesley Fofana, but that doesn't mean their outlay for the season will stop there.

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Chelsea have a recent history of successful signings following good World Cup showings. Ramires helped Brazil to the quarter-finals in South Africa 2010 before completing a €22m move from Benfica, and was duly named the Blues' Player of the Year the following season.

READ: Chelsea's 10 best transfers of all time

More recently, Mateo Kovacic was part of the Croatia squad that finished third at the World Cup in 2018. He joined on loan from Real Madrid that summer before the move as made permanent the next year for €45m. Both players won Champions Leagues with Chelsea in short order.

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Who might be next? Eden Hazard is one of Chelsea's greatest ever players, one who previously counted both Ramires and Kovacic as teammates, but at 31 the Madrid man's powers are on the wane. The hope at club and international level is that Brighton's Leandro Trossard might be able to fill his boots. In Marc Cucurella and Graham Potter, the path from the south coast to west London is also already well-trodden…

French Connection

Chelsea are also watching world champions France closely. Christopher Nkunku pulled out on the eve of the tournament with a ruptured cruciate ligament, but the RB Leipzig man is still expected to complete an €80m move to Stamford Bridge next year. He could be joined by any or all of Ousmane Dembele, Adrien Rabiot and Benjamin Pavard if recent reports are to be believed.

READ: Chelsea and PSG battle for Ousmane Dembele

At the back, Chelsea are looking for a left-footed centre-back despite making Cucurella - who can play in the middle - the most expensive left-back of all time in the summer. Nkunku's Leipzig and Kovacic's Croatia teammate Josko Gvardiol is their top target in the position, but Bayer Leverkusen's Piero Hincapie - at the World Cup with Ecuador - could be a cheaper alternative.

With Nkunku injured, Chelsea's interest in AC Milan star Rafa Leao has also amplified of late. His transfer would appear to be more likely than Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's, even if the 37-year-old superstar is available on a free following his release by Manchester United.

Chelsea are set to compete with United for the services of Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa, but if they come off second-best in that pursuit England's Everton shot-stopper Jordan Pickford is an alternative. Either way, the futures of Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga - the former in Qatar with Senegal - appear to be bleak.

Last but by no means least are Pickford's England teammates Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice, of Borussia Dortmund and West Ham respectively. Competition will be huge for both players, but Chelsea are determined to rejuvenate their midfield with N'Golo Kante and Jorginho both the wrong side of 30.

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