Chelsea fans may well have cause for concern ahead of the forthcoming season following reports potential title rivals Manchester United are ‘very close’ to a second signing.
The Blues have been linked with several star-studded names, including the likes of Erling Haaland, though Thomas Tuchel is yet to make his first signing as Blues manager since his arrival in January.
football.london understands that the Norweigan, who scored a phenomenal 41 goals in 41 games this season, is considered as Tuchel’s top priority despite reports claiming that Borussia Dortmund raised concerns regarding the sales of both Haaland and Jadon Sancho this summer.
Though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United struck first with the £73million signing of Chelsea fan Sancho, the Blues will be hopeful that a deal can be reached for the 20-year-old’s services.
However, Roman Abramovich will reportedly have to fork out £138m to secure Haaland’s signature at Stamford Bridge this summer despite the striker’s £64m to £85.5m release clause that becomes active next summer.
Having seen the dealings orchestrated at the Theatre of Dreams, Chelsea’s Director, Marina Granovskaia, will look to sing from the same hymn sheet, with Raphael Varane’s imminent £42.8m move to Manchester United, reported by Jorge Calabres, another major statement.
Calabres, of Real Madrid TV and MARCA, reported that the French centre half has been offered a five-year contract at Old Trafford worth £10.26m a year and is ‘closer to a deal with United than with Real Madrid’.
With United close to signing Varane for such a shrewd fee, it could cause concern among Chelsea fans as to their hopes for challenging for the Premier League crown again, when delving into United’s potential line-up next season. But how does it compare to Tuchel’s?
A rising star between the sticks
Dean Henderson emerged as United’s solution to the faltering form of David De Gea.
The Spaniard appears to have a pathway paved out of Manchester following the signing of Tom Heaton and contract renewal of Lee Grant, with the pair acting as second and third choice backups respectively.
United have a strong depth in goalkeeping options, rivalling that of Chelsea who have Eduoard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
However, German outlet Deich Stube reported that the Blues are interested in the services of Czech Republic goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
Star-studded back four
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Chelsea’s Reece James ahead of Euro 2020, giving Blues fans a great vote of confidence that their side have one of the league’s leading right-backs, but has impressed at Old Trafford.
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw have enjoyed a fruitful Euro 2020 thus far, meanwhile potential centre-half partner Varane was sent home early having dramatically lost to Switzerland in the round of 16.
Andreas Christensen has seamlessly evolved and matured fantastically for club and country at the back giving Blues fans a great voucher of hope heading into next season.
Two rocks shielding the defence
Despite France’s early exit at Euro 2020, Paul Pogba was excellent and was leading the race for player of the tournament all while playing alongside Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante.
Scott McTominay and Pogba’s partnership could strike fear into the best of European sides, however over the course of the season games come thick and fast meaning United’s depth in midfield will be tested.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are in a healthy position with the likes of Jorginho, Mason Mount, Kante and Mateo Kovacic all capable of slotting into Tuchel’s midfield two.
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A menacing front four
Having added Sancho to United’s array of attacking talent of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani, United are poised to rival the scoring charts of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and of Jurgen Klopp Liverpool next season.
However, despite Chelsea’s goal scoring endeavours last season, the Blues were the third-highest performing xG side in the Premier League falling short to just Manchester City and Liverpool.
Man United dream XI: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Pogba, McTominay; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani.
Should Chelsea be worried how their rivals are shaping up? Let us know in the comments below.