Chelsea are close to signing Inter Milan star Ivan Perisic on a free transfer this summer, Sport Mediaset claims.
The Blues are expected to bolster their central defensive options for next season with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave when their contracts expire on June 30.
However, they may also have to bolster their wing-back department with suggestions that Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are looking for potential exits during the summer.
Amidst this, Sport Mediaset claim that Perisic has a practical agreement in place with Chelsea, who are set to offer him a better salary than Inter’s €4.5 million annual package.
Perisic’s deal with the Nerazzurri expires on June 30, and it is reported that only a medical examination and a contract is left to be signed to secure his free transfer to Chelsea.
Alonso and Ben Chilwell have been the regular choices at left wing-back for manager Thomas Tuchel, but the latter has been injured for large parts of the ongoing campaign.
Chilwell is due to return for the 2022/23 season, and he may have a new competitor in Perisic, considering Alonso appears keen on pursuing a new challenge elsewhere.
At 33, Perisic is definitely not a long-term solution for the Blues, but would be a quality acquisition, considering his vast success from the left wing-back role at Inter Milan.
He has virtually made the position his own over the past two years. This season, he has registered an impressive nine goals and eight assists from 47 games in all competitions.
Being a winger by trade, he has had no troubles adapting to the role, and Tuchel could be tempted to pursue him instead of spending significant fees on a young signing.
Chelsea have already shown that they are not averse to the idea of landing experienced stars. Silva joined on a free transfer when he was almost 36, and has been brilliant for them.
Perisic would be a solid competitor to Chilwell. The Croatian is no slouch defensively with an average of 1.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 1.7 aerial duels won in Serie A this term.
The timing of his transfer may depend on when the temporary transfer ban on Chelsea is lifted. It should happen soon with Todd Boehly’s consortium set to takeover the club.