Sports

Chelsea ready to enter £130m race for Jude Bellingham

Chelsea are trying hard to catch up in the race to try to sign England star Judd Bellingham next summer.

Telegraph Sport understands that Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital’s ownership has already tried to force its way into the Bellingham camp, despite being told Real Madrid and Liverpool are ahead of them.

Boley, the controlling owner and interim sporting director, still believes Chelsea have enough time for a serious game with Bellingham and has not been put off by warnings that Real Madrid and Liverpool have been working on a potential deal for months.

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Bellingham has quickly become the hottest young club in world football, and Borussia Dortmund will likely have to cash in on the £130m midfielder at the end of this season.

This has already started a race between clubs to try to take center stage for Bellingham, with Chelsea under the impression that Real Madrid and Liverpool are leading the way.

But that hasn’t deterred Chelsea’s new owners trying to break into the race for Bellingham and try to force their way alongside Real Madrid and Liverpool at the top of the waiting list.

Currently still without a permanent sporting director, it is believed Boehly has taken it upon himself to make inquiries about Bellingham and cement what he hopes will be key relationships.

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Real Madrid and Liverpool have spent months doing just that, while there is also still a fear that Manchester City will turn their attention seriously to Bellingham given his stellar performances with Dortmund and England.

Chelsea’s new owners have spent nearly £300m in the first transfer window since taking over the club from Roman Abramovich, but Bohli and his teammates are already preparing to pump more money into the future with the midfield position one of the priority centres.

Initial talks have been held about trying to extend N’Golo Kanté’s contract, which expires at the end of the season, while the club is also debating whether or not to offer Jorginho, who is in the same situation, a new deal.

But regardless of Kanté and Jorginho’s future, Chelsea are planning to try and sign at least one top-tier young midfielder next summer with Declan Rice also on the club’s radar.

Chelsea’s owners have been warned against a bid for Rice by West Ham United in this summer’s transfer window, but they may test their rival’s design in London next summer.

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Other than trying to jump the queue of clubs chasing Bellingham and keeping interest in Price, Chelsea have been keeping an eye on RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunko this season and will assess whether or not the club need to sign a new goalkeeper.

Edward Mendy has yet to sign a new contract, having turned down at least one offer, and his decline before the arrival of Graham Potter as head coach has raised question marks over whether Chelsea should consider their options.

Kepa Arrizabalaga was made available last summer but could not secure his transfer and Mendy’s questionable work and distribution could become an even bigger problem under the style of Potter, who will take charge of his first Chelsea Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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