Football presenter Richard Keys has urged Chelsea to sign England duo Harry Kane and Harry Maguire this summer as part of a transfer rebuild. It comes ahead of a potentially busy off season for Thomas Tuchel.
While the Blues started the season strong, they are in danger of the campaign fizzling out and collapsing altogether. The Premier League title race fell from their grasp in the new year, while a Carabao Cup run saw them miss out on penalties to Liverpool.
The Champions League title defence was halted by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, while an FA Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley awaits this weekend. However, form has been a real issue, with only one league win in the last five.
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The latest frustration came against Wolves, where an injury time header from Conor Coady saw the game end 2-2. Speaking after the game, Tuchel said: “In the second half, we reminded the team to stick to the plan, to execute the match plan with more discipline and more precisely, and we were 2-0 up, and again we take too much risk in situations where you cannot take this kind of risk. We invited the counter-attacks and big chances. Once you do this, you lose confidence and invite the opponent to smell that something is possible when it is unnecessary.”
While the takeover is still being processed, the manager could be set for a huge summer rebuild at the club. Defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen look set to leave as free agents, while questions over the future of the midfield and striking options have been called into question.
While a number of players have been linked with a move, football presenter Keys believes that three England internationals should be top of the list. Writing in his blog, he said: “They [Chelsea] need a centre-back. Harry Maguire? What would he cost? £40million-£50million? I’m pretty sure he’d jump at the chance of a new start.
“The obvious one in midfield would be Rice. Kante has all but run himself to a stand still. Rice would be a perfect replacement. Would West Ham sell? Of course they will if the money is right. I’d give you £150million for him all day long. If Rice pushes hard it might not take that much.”
Maguire has struggled this season at Manchester United and with the Blues looking to bolster their backline options, Keys believes he could solve that. As for Rice, he has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the past, having been a former academy player in west London.
In the striking department, trio Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have struggled for consistency over the season. The former made a club-record return to the club last summer, believed to be the final piece of the puzzle, but has only managed seven Premier League goals.
Keys believes he could thrive under former boss Antonio Conte at Tottenham, while Kane would make the switch to Stamford Bridge: “Tuchel wants rid of Lukaku – that’s pretty obvious. But to where? Who’s got the most out of him during his career?
“Correct – the guy at Tottenham. So if Conte can be persuaded to stay – and he fancied working with Lukaku again – what could Spurs do to get him? They wouldn’t want to pay anything like Chelsea did for him. So – what about a player exchange? Two players worth £50million a-piece?
“An English spine at Chelsea I said. So Son or Kulusevski wouldn’t interest them at The Bridge. That leaves one option. Yep. England’s No.9 [Harry Kane].”
While the deals would be unlikely, it remains to be seen whether they could be done. However, the Blues have a huge summer ahead of them and anything could happen as they look to make another push to the top.