Chelsea’s preparations for Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City in Portugal are almost complete.
The Blues have flown out to Porto this afternoon and will be putting the final touches to their plans over the next 48 hours or so, with kick-off penciled in for 8pm on Saturday evening.
For head coach Thomas Tuchel, who only arrived at the club back in January, it will probably hit home for him just what he has achieved in such a short space of time, especially when the Blues’ fixture list has been so relentless.
However, the German will not rest until he boards the flight back to England with the trophy.
But one thing that you guarantee about post-Saturday evening is that Tuchel will be hoping to add reinforcements to his squad this summer.
After Chelsea splashed out more than £200million on seven new signings last summer, they were never expected to spend in the January transfer window, even though Tuchel arrived with just under a week of the window remaining. However, over time, it is only natural that any head coach or manager would want to add to his squad with players of his own, something the German will be looking to do over the coming weeks and months.
Adding a striker to his ranks is understood to be his top priority, with the likes of Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Tottenham Hotspur ace Harry Kane being linked with summer moves to Stamford Bridge. But whilst those three would cost Chelsea massive amounts of money to lure to west London, with Haaland and Kane guaranteed to cost well over £100million, other areas of the squad will be strengthened for much less.
And one area that Chelsea could soon be strengthening is the goalkeeping department. That is because, according to a report by 90Min, the Blues have opened talks with the representatives of AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The Italian, who will be hoping to impress at Euro 2020 with Italy next month, will leave the San Siro club when his contract expires next month after deciding against committing his future to the club, an announcement which was confirmed by Milan technical director Paolo Maldini yesterday.
The Italy legend said: “He was a protagonist, a leader and often a captain.”
“A professional must also be ready to change his shirt,” Maldini continued. “It is increasingly difficult to start a career in one place and finish it there.
“We must thank those who gave so much for Milan and Gigio did it, without ever disrespecting the club. Our paths divide here and I can only wish him the best.”
It already became apparent earlier this week that Donnarumma, 22, would be leaving Milan this summer after it emerged that Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who was briefly linked with Chelsea last summer, was joining the Italian outfit.
Donnarumma’s exit is, undoubtedly, going to mean that a whole host of clubs will be chasing his signature on a free transfer. One of those, according to reports, is Chelsea, with it claimed that the Blues have been locked in discussions with his agent – Mino Raiola – for several months.
But should the reports be accurate and Chelsea are genuinely interested in signing the shot-stopper, it could raise questions. Admittedly, the 22-year-old is considered as one of the very best in the business and has a massive future ahead of him, but Edouard Mendy has performed impressively between the sticks this season, meaning he must remain first choice next term.
It is possible that Kepa Arrizabalaga could be sold to fund transfer for other new arrivals, but it is highly unlikely that Donnarumma would settle for being second choice and warming the bench.
As well as that, it would be a lot of money for Chelsea to fork out, in terms of wages, for a player that may spend time on the bench.