Chelsea are set to hijack Manchester United’s move for Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva having scouted him severally, according to the Sun.
Liverpool are also keen on the 20-year-old, but the Blues are favourites to land his services having opened talks to sign him. Benfica have rejected an initial £52 million proposal – which included Armando Broja as a makeweight – from Chelsea, insisting his £87m release clause must be triggered.
The Portugal international has over three years remaining on his contract, so his club are not in any rush to sell him.
Chelsea are preparing for the potential departure of Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva, with the 39-year-old expected to leave when his contract ends at the end of the current campaign.
The Stamford Bridge club have identified his namesake as his replacement, and they are also ready to pip Liverpool to his services. Silva has much-needed experience under his belt despite his tender years, with 67 appearances to his name already.
He has featured in 23 games this term and Man United have made him their number one summer transfer target.
However, Chelsea are ready to do whatever it takes to land him but may need to qualify for the Champions League next season to boost their chances.
They are currently 10th in the Premier League table after 20 games, 12 points off the top-four, and securing a place in Europe next term is already looking like a herculean task.
With Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile struggling to impress since joining the Blues, manager Mauricio Pochettino is ready to bring in quality reinforcements at the back, and Silva fits the bill.
He is very comfortable with the ball at his feet, has an impressive passing ability and is an excellent tackler, and while it remains to be seen whether he can hit the ground running in the Premier League, the fact that Man United manager Erik ten Hag and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp have eyes on him speaks volumes.
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