Chelsea are reportedly targeting Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch – who has been dubbed a ‘better Paul Pogba’.
The Blues did business with the Dutch outfit for Hakim Ziyech last year and want to get another deal over the line.
Thomas Tuchel is desperate to bolster his Chelsea squad this summer when he has his first full transfer market since replacing Frank Lampard in January – with the exciting central midfielder seemingly high on his wish list.
But he faces competition from two other Premier League clubs for the teenager.
It is thought Liverpool are one of those sides also chasing Gravenberch while reports have also linked him with Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United.
One of the latest teenage sensations to be produced from Ajax’s conveyor belt of youthful talent, Gravenberch doesn’t turn 19 until the day after Liverpool’s penultimate Premier League fixture of this season at Burnley on May 15.
Despite his tender years, the home-grown hero from Amsterdam has already made 50 first team appearances, netting eight goals, half of which have come this season, and won his first three international caps in last month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Chelsea are dead serious about signing a deadly striker for the team as reports have emerged that the west London club are willing to offer to offer £86million to tempt Inter Milan into letting Romelu Lukaku return to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland is understood to be the prime target on owner Roman Abramovich’s shortlist, with Belgian striker Lukaku an option if a move for the Norwegian fails to materialise.
According to Calcio Mercato, as cited by the Mail, the Blues are prepared to put their money where their mouth is and pay more than £80m for the player, who only made 15 appearances in all competitions during his four years in west London between 2011 and 2014.
Lukaku has been in superb goalscoring form this season with 26 goals in 35 matches for Inter, helping them to the top of Serie A by eight points with a game in hand.
The 27-year-old, who signed for the Italian giants for £74m from Manchester United in August 2019, is the talisman and attacking figurehead and there is no indication the club would be willing to sell.
Manchester City tried to sign him last summer and could move again given Sergio Aguero’s departure.
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman also worked with Lukaku at Everton and wants a reunion but their dire financial situation is expected to hinder that move.
Chelsea ace Mason Mount insists the tie is not over yet but is pleased with the result at Seville.
Mount told BT Sport: “We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew how hard to play against them, we didn’t have many chances, but we kept going.
“We obviously got the goal first-half, and the second late on secured a good win, but that’s only half the tie. It’s about time it came [a Champions League goal], it’s a good time for it to come. It was a good pass by ‘Jorgy’ [Jorginho] and I just had a bit of space, so I just hit it after my first touch, and yeah, it went in, so obviously I was very happy with that. it took us in at half-time 1-0 up and in a good position.
“I’m always working on my finishing. I don’t think you can work on it enough, so yeah very happy to score one tonight but most importantly get the win. Chilwell showed great composure, to be fair. Very good finish from him, he’ll be buzzing with that.
“We definitely needed a reaction tonight [after the West Brom defeat]. After the game, we put it behind us, and we said, we need to improve. We’re getting better and better. That game was something we looked at briefly the next day, and we moved on.
“The job’s not done. We’ll be ready [for the second leg]”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel echoed Mason Mount’s statement by insisting the tie is not over yet but described the result as “excellent” even though they “suffered” at times.
Tuchel told BT Sport: “The result is excellent. It was a tough match against a strong Porto side. They are a proud club and a proud team, so there were moments when we suffered. But we accepted it and I could see the circumstances are a bit different in a quarter-final.
“In some moments it was a good game, in some moments we suffered. But the spirit was good.
“I was pretty sure [there would be a reaction to the West Brom defeat] because I saw the response after the game in the dressing room. That wasn’t a big concern. We had a big loss but it was our responsibility but we accepted it. We were ready to respond. There will always be setbacks in football, the challenge is to bounce back.
“I am very, very happy he [Mason Mount] scored. It was an important goal and opened up the game for us and calmed nerves. It wasn’t an easy shot but very precise. I am very happy for Mason, he takes responsibility. Mason is precise with his finishing and always ready to help us.
“Was [Ben Chilwell] excellent because he kept his composure to go past the goalkeeper. It was super important to get the second away goal. Like I said, we lacked a bit of rhythm in our attack but there was always a chance to get a goal from a mistake from our opponent. He isn’t a regular scorer but I am very happy we go away with the result. It’s half time, though. We need to keep going.”
Sergio Conceicao says he is still optimistic about the chances of Porto to qualify despite losing the first leg of the Champions League quarter final to Chelsea 2-0 in Seville on Wednesday.
The Blues opened the scoring after 32 minutes when Jorginho found Mason Mount on the edge of the box and the youngster pirouetted around Chancel Mbemba, who went in early for the ball, before beating Agustin Marchesin with a fine finish.
The Dragons put together a solid performance but failed to produce any major chances with the west Londoners missing the chance to double the score early on in the second half when Kai Havertz failed in front of open goal.
But Chelsea sealed the win, and perhaps the tie, on 85 minutes when Jesus Corona gave the ball away at the back with a poor touch that led to Ben Chilwell picking it up and dribbling past Marchesin to double the “visitors'” lead
Despite the final scoreline, Porto generally impressed against Chelsea and gave their opponents some notable scares during a battling performance.
And Conceicao is optimistic that the Portuguese giants can overturn a formidable deficit next week.
“We know we still have the chance to qualify for the semi-finals, but we will have to score first,” he said.
“We are confident enough to do that.
“We believe that from a strategic point of view the players produced a strong performance.
“Individually the opponent scored two goals, but it was a match where we did more than to lose by two goals.”