Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is likely to have her hands full in the transfer market over the coming weeks as the Blues eye reinforcements at both ends of the pitch. Thomas Tuchel is believed to be keen on adding a new central defender and a top-class striker in order to facilitate a renewed Premier League title challenge when the new season gets underway.
Express Sport takes a look at the Chelsea side that could feature against Crystal Palace on the opening day if Granovskaia is able to engineer a couple of marquee signings over the next few days.
Goalkeeper – Mendy
Edouard Mendy is Chelsea’s best option between the sticks and is likely to retain his first-choice status for the campaign ahead.
Kepa Arrizabalaga impressed when called upon last season, but Mendy’s performances were instrumental in leading the Blues to European glory and a top-four finish in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old conceded just once in the Champions League knockout stages and kept an impressive 25 clean sheets in all competitions.
Chelsea have already signed Marcus Bettinelli on a free transfer this summer, but he will almost certainly not feature ahead of Mendy or Kepa when both players are fit and healthy.
JUST IN: Chelsea target Jules Kounde warned of immediate problem he would face
Defence – Kounde, Silva, Rudiger
Sevilla defender Jules Kounde could well be on his way to Stamford Bridge over the coming weeks, with Chelsea in talks over a move for his services.
Personal terms have reportedly been agreed with the 22-year-old, and if the Blues can successfully negotiate a transfer fee with Sevilla, it would represent a significant coup for Tuchel as he bids to strengthen his side’s back three.
Kounde’s excellent mobility and cultured range of passing would likely see him feature as the right-sided central defender, with Antonio Rudiger taking up his usual spot on the left.
Meanwhile, Thiago Silva could play centrally in what could be his final season at the highest level of the game, with his current deal set to expire next summer.
Midfield – James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell
Chelsea reportedly tried to strengthen the wing-back position earlier in the window with the signing of Achraf Hakimi, who eventually joined Paris Saint-Germain in a £51million move from Inter Milan.
Their failure to secure the 22-year-old’s signature will likely see Reece James, who produced a stunning performance in the Champions League final, retain his place on the right flank.
Ben Chilwell has established himself as Chelsea’s go-to guy on the left and should feature alongside a possible central midfield pairing of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.
Mateo Kovacic could also be involved on a regular basis next season, but it seems as though he might initially be forced to settle for a spot on the bench.
Do you want an exclusive pre-season preview for YOUR club – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.
Attack – Mount, Werner, Lukaku
Chelsea are in desperate need of an elite-level striker to lead the line next season, and Inter talisman Romelu Lukaku appears to be their candidate of choice.
The Blues are said to have already seen a nine-figure bid knocked back by the Italian champions, and it remains to be seen whether an improved offer will be tabled, with Inter determined to keep hold of their prized asset.
If Granovskaia and Tuchel can pull off a masterstroke in bringing Lukaku back to west London, he would likely be supported on the right-hand side by Mason Mount, who has been the greatest success story to emerge from Chelsea’s youth ranks in recent years.
Meanwhile, Timo Werner will be hoping to hit the ground running on the opposite flank and stake his claim for a starting role ahead of compatriot Kai Havertz.
Possible Chelsea XI: Mendy; Kounde, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Werner, Lukaku.