Chelsea have NO chance of signing Jude Bellingham - which midfielders could they turn to instead?
The summer's biggest and likely tiresome transfer saga is almost certain to centre on one man: Borussia Dortmund midfield dynamo Jude Bellingham. A target for all of Europe's elite, the tug of war for his signature will come to a head in the coming months as the 19-year-old's future is finally decided.
But one team that is unlikely to have a dog in this fight is Chelsea.
A nightmarish campaign on the pitch has seen the Blues slip into the bottom half of the Premier League table, and amid the chaos off it, Frank Lampard has been re-appointed as interim manager following Graham Potter's sacking.
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A financial hit is impending as a result of their imminent failure to qualify for the Champions League, and Chelsea's latest accounts reflect that there could well be trouble on the horizon if they do not fall in line with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Consequently, a lack of desire on the player's part and an inability to fund a £100 million+ deal, Bellingham may well be beyond reach.
One consolation is that the club secured the future of part of their midfield with the January arrival of deep-lying playmaker Enzo Fernandez. Now, Chelsea's transfer strategists must seek an all-action, goalscoring alternative to Bellingham.
Here are the names they should consider...