Chelsea have made an enquiry to Brighton over defender and captain Lewis Dunk, with the club prepared to let him leave if their hefty valuation is met by the blues.
Frank Lampard is free to make signings after Chelsea’s transfer ban was lifted and he is keen to reinforce his defense, with Bournemouth player Nathan Ake mentioned as a main target this month.
According to the Times, Chelsea have been keeping tabs on Lewis Dunk and have now approached Brighton over a possible January deal.
The 28-year-old defender has enjoyed a solid season, adapting quickly to the possession-based style of football advocated by coach Graham Potter to add to his already uncompromising defending.
He is highly rated by Brighton and they value him at around £50million – a fee that would make him the second most expensive English central defender behind only Harry Maguire.
Interestingly, Leicester tried to sign Dunk as a replacement for Harry Maguire when he moved to Manchester United but he chose to remain at the Amex, while the Foxes were reluctant to pay Brighton’s asking price of £30m then.
The Times reports that Brighton would not block a transfer move to Chelsea – even midway through the campaign – and would not want to stand in his way of joining such a big side.
A move to Chelsea would give Dunk the chance to test himself in the Champions League, with the Blues taking on Bayern in the last 16, and maybe even force his way into England’s team for Euro 2020.
Dunk is believed to be one of a number of centre-backs being looked at, with Ake – who can be bought back for £40m due to a clause – and West Ham’s Issa Diop also on the club’s shortlist.
Chelsea are also looking at signing a striker, with Olivier Giroud expected to move to Inter Milan this month and Moussa Dembele wanted as his replacement.