Ben Chilwell will reportedly tell Leicester this week that he wants to leave for Chelsea in the summer transfer window. The market opened on Monday with the Blues intent on making several big additions to make them Premier League title contenders next term.
With Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already signed at a combined cost of around £80million, Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz is next on Chelsea’s wishlist and terms have already been agreed with the player.
Now, the Premier League giants must agree a fee with Leverkusen, which could cost the Londoners around an initial £70m.
After that, Frank Lampard is expected to turn his attentions to Chelsea’s leaky defence, which conceded more goals than any other top-half team in the campaign just concluded with 54 goals in 38 games.
As Lampard seeks to shore up his back-line, the manager has long been keen on Leicester and England left-back Chilwell, who he sees as a long-term solution to the position.
And according to the Daily Mirror, Chilwell intends to inform the Foxes in the coming days that he wants a switch to Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old has asserted himself as one of the most exciting full-backs in the English top flight and produced three goals and three assists in 27 Premier League games this season before his season was ended early by injury.
The offensive-minded defender has been at Leicester since the age of 12 and remains under contract until 2024 at the King Power Stadium after signing a new deal back in October.
But like Ziyech, Werner and prospective new signing Havertz, Chilwell is sold on the idea of playing for Chelsea under legendary former midfielder Lampard.
The Leicester academy graduate’s desire to quit the Midlands club is not due to their failure to qualify for Champions League football at the weekend after he watched on as his team-mates lost to Manchester United.
A 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils condemned Brendan Rodgers’ men, who were without the injured Chilwell, to the Europa League next season despite long occupying a top-four spot this term.
But Chilwell’s desire to leave for Chelsea, who sealed fourth spot courtesy of a 2-0 final-day win over Wolves, is because he has ambitions to play for the Blues for at least five years.
The England international also wants to ensure that he has a spot in the Three Lions’ squad for the rescheduled Euros next summer having so far racked up 11 caps under Gareth Southgate.
Discussing the future of the £80million-rated Chilwell, Leicester boss Rodgers said recently: “It is something I am quite relaxed on.
“I am fortunate we have a talented group of players which I am sure will interest some.
“All we can offer is a wonderful environment to come and play, develop, work in and improve as a player.
“We will see where it goes from there over the course of the off-season.”
Having conceded earlier this campaign that Leicester cannot hold on to players who desire a step-up after Harry Maguire left for United a year ago, it is not expected Leicester will stand in Chilwell’s way.
But Rodgers and the club’s Thai owners will expect to be well remunerated for his exit, having got a world-record fee for a defender of £80m for Maguire last summer.
Although the coronavirus pandemic will affect the fees spent by players this year, Chelsea are financially healthier than other clubs thanks to Roman Abramovich’s riches and the fact they were banned from making signings for a year due to a FIFA-imposed transfer embargo.
Leicester appear to already have picked their replacement for Chilwell with England youngster Luke Thomas having played the final three matches of the campaign.
Asked about Chilwell last month, Lampard was deliberately coy despite it being well known that he is a big fan of the left-back.
“I’m not even going to speak about Ben Chilwell or any other players, out of respect,” he said.
The defender has been a first-team regular for three seasons at Leicester after a brief stint on loan at Huddersfield in the Championship.
He has racked up 123 appearances, including 99 in the Premier League, and has mustered four goals and 12 assists.