Chelsea are on the verge of completing a £50million deal for Ben Chilwell with the Leicester City defender having already undergone a series of medical checks, according to reports.
Blues boss Frank Lampard has been desperate to bring in a new left-back to reinforce his leaky defence, with England international Chilwell his long-time top target.
However, the 23-year-old missed the final five Premier League matches of the season with a problematic knee injury, with Leicester ultimately falling out of the Champions League places.
According to The Athletic, Chelsea are now close to officially agreeing a £50m deal for Chilwell with Leicester resigned to losing the left-back.
The west London club have not given serious consideration to any other options for the position, with Lampard always adamant that Chilwell was his clear number one choice.
The deal is advanced enough that Chilwell has undergone a series of medical checks to establish the extent of his heel injury and those results have been passed on to Chelsea.
There are no long-term issues with the injury, though he will not be ready to return for another three weeks.
That means Chilwell is likely to miss much of Chelsea’s pre-season and it will be touch and go to see if he is ready for the opening match of the season against Brighton on September 14.
If he is not fit in time for that match, Chilwell may well be given a baptism of fire on his Chelsea debut up against Mohamed Salah when Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge a few days later.
Lampard has long had reservations about both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri and Chilwell’s arrival will see at least one of the duo – if not both – offloaded this summer, with both Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James able to cover at left-back as backup to Chilwell.