Chelsea tipped to seize €50m Arsenal target to complete ‘perfect summer’

Rio Ferdinand has urged Chelsea to beat Arsenal to the signature of a midfield general who would solve a key issue in Frank Lampard’s side.

The Blues have splashed the cash in the current window, with their spending currently topping the £200m mark.

Results on the field have thus far been mixed, as Lampard juggles integrating his new signings along with a significant injury list.

A key issue in their stuttering start has been defensive frailty. Just one clean sheet this season prior to today’s victory over Crystal Palace had been registered in all competitions – their 6-0 win over Barnsley in the EFL Cup.

One solution could be to shore up the central midfield ranks with defensive-minded players.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey would be one such option, though the Ghanaian has been heavily linked with a switch to cross-town rivals Arsenal.

However, reports last week suggested The Gunners’ hopes of pulling off the coup were fading.

Now, BT Sport pundit Ferdinand has urged Chelsea to usurp Mikel Arteta’s side and snatch Partey from under their nose.

Thomas Partey - Chelsea tipped to seize €50m Arsenal target to complete ‘perfect summer’

“I think a huge thing for them is to stop conceding goals,” said Ferdinand (via The Metro)

“I think Frank would have looked at it last season and three of the back four that will be playing today are new players.

“He’ll have seen that, a lot of goals conceded and I think the most conceded in 22 years at the club.

“More importantly we read reports today of Partey coming in in that central area.

“I don’t think he’s happy with the likes of Kovacic or Jorginho. You can see that because he’s chopping and changing in those positions.

“Getting someone like that in to protect the back four or five along with Kante goes a long way to nullifying the goals against.”

Former Chelsea star and fellow pundit Joe Cole added: “As soon as possible I think Frank wants to nail down the goalkeeping position and back four and then he can just tinker with that midfield and Partey would be a fantastic signing.”


Lampard gives Chelsea superiors Rice ultimatum

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has told his superiors to pay “whatever it takes” to get a deal for Declan Rice over the line, according to a report.

The 21-year-old left Chelsea’s academy for the Hammers at the age of 14 and has not looked back. Indeed he has become an established first-team regular both at West Ham and for England.

Several reports in recent months have indicated that he remains a top target for Chelsea, who Lampard has now reportedly told must pay “whatever it takes” to bring him in.

However Chelsea’s hierarchy – including owner Roman Abramovich – remain “unconvinced” about Lampard’s approach.

Read the full story here.


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