Chelsea have lined up Everton’s Amadou Onana as an alternative to Moises Caicedo if they cannot secure a deal for the Brighton midfielder.
The Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino has made Moises Caicedo his No.1 midfield priority after losing Manuel Ugarte to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer. Brighton are ready to let the Ecuador international leave this summer if a sizeable offer is made, though their valuation has been influenced by West Ham star Declan Rice’s imminent £ 105 million move to Arsenal.
The Seagulls are asking for a mammoth £100m fee for Caicedo, though there is a hope from Chelsea that a fee of around £80m can be agreed. The defensive midfielder is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and has broadly agreed on personal terms, but if negotiations drag on and the south coast club stick to their absurd valuation, Chelsea are prepared to move on to other targets. With that in mind, the Pensioners have reportedly sounded out to Everton midfielder Amadou Onana.
Onana, 21, moved to Everton last summer in a £33m deal from LOSC Lille. Despite the Toffees’ struggles with relegation, the Belgium international impressed in his debut Premier League season, registering a goal and two assists in 33 appearances.
Amadou Onana could be a solid signing for Chelsea
Chelsea are in the middle of a mass exodus of their bloated squad, with the likes of Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all leaving for sizeable fees. They have also agreed a £60m deal with Manchester United for academy graduate Mason Mount, who was heading into the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
That leaves the Blues with a significant transfer kitty but also a lack of options in midfield, with Jorginho departing to Arsenal in January and N’Golo Kante having left on a free transfer to Saudi club Al-Ittihad. Following the arrival of forward Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal, Pochettino has now shifted his focus towards adding central midfielders to his squad.
Should a deal for Caicedo cannot be agreed with Brighton, Pochettino may opt to move for Amadou Onana. The 21-year-old had a bright first season in English football. Arsenal and Manchester United were believed to be interested in bringing the Belgian enforcer in but have both set their sights elsewhere for now.
Onana’s style of play makes him an ideal candidate to fill the midfield void left by Kovacic, Kante and Loftus-Cheek at Chelsea. With his physicality, aerial prowess, energy and power, he will bring a dynamic presence in the middle of the park for the Blues, whilst allowing Enzo Fernandez to operate in a more advanced role next season.
Due to their financial troubles, Everton may be willing to sell Onana for £ 50 million this summer, having already started eyeing potential replacements. Chelsea have the funds to pay the valuation for Onana but are yet to convince him of the move. The Belgium international’s age, potential, proven skills and taste of Premier League football make him an enticing prospect for Pochettino’s Blues.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.