Chelsea keep a close eye on 25-year-old La Liga centre-back

The London giants may have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez after he admitted he ‘loves’ the club. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is in the market for a new centre-back this summer to help tackle his side’s leaky back-line, with West Ham United’s Declan Rice thought to be their top target.

However, with West Ham United playing hardball over any deal for Declan and demanding a fee of close to £80m, Blues may be forced to look elsewhere this summer. Uruguay international is on their radar as a possible signing and he has been extensively scouted by the London giants chiefs.

And it seems as if he would be open to a move. Jose Maria revealed he supported the Blues as a teenager and that he wanted to play alongside current boss Frank Lampard.

Gimenez said in an interview with La Liga: ‘I would have liked to play with Lampard. I always used to watch Chelsea as a kid, loved them.’ It’s expected to be a busy summer at the London club.

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have already been signed from RB Leipzig and Ajax respectively, with a deal for Kai Havertz nearing conclusion. Foxes Ben Chilwell is wanted to strengthen Frank Lampard’s left-back options and the Blues manager also wants to add a centre-back and a shot-stopper during the transfer window.

The Blues have been shocking in back-line this campaign and has cost them dearly in countless games throughout. The London giants have conceded 54 times in the PL, the most in the top ten. Declan Rice is a top target at Chelsea but the Hammers have priced England international at £70m to £80m.