Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing RB Leipzig playmaker Dominik Szoboszlai in a potential blow to Mykhaylo Mudryk and Raheem Sterling.
Reports linking the Blues to Szoboszlai have really intensified over the last week.
Signed from Leipzig’s sister club, RB Salzburg, for around £19million in January 2021, the Hungarian has shone this season with five goals and 13 assists in 32 matches across all competitions.
The 22-year-old is good friends with Manchester City striker Erling Haaland from their time together in Austria.
The two faced off in the Champions League last 16 on February 22 and are preparing for their second leg clash at the Etihad next Tuesday.
“We played together at Red Bull Salzburg for one year but that was enough for us to become very close,” Szoboszlai recently told The Athletic.
“He’s a great guy. It was difficult to settle into the team for him at first because he didn’t speak German. I know what that feels like. When I came to Salzburg aged 15 (from Hungary), I was in the same situation. I told myself, ‘I have to support him’.”
Given his stellar form for Leipzig this season, Szoboszlai is being linked with a move to the Premier League.
It was reported by Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb last week that the 22-year-old Hungary international is in ‘contact’ with Chelsea and a transfer is ‘very close’ to materialising.
This is quite a surprising rumour due to the fact the Blues signed Sterling last summer and Mudryk in the January transfer window.
Szoboszlai can play as a no. 10, which Chelsea do not operate with under Graham Potter, but he also thrives as a left-winger.
Fabrizio Romano actually played down reports of a move to Stamford Bridge being imminent.
“We know that in the last 48 hours we had some rumours about Dominik Szoboszlai this midfielder, Hungarian midfielder, from Leipzig, he’s always been in the Red Bull group, one of the biggest talents in his position,” he said on his YouTube channel.
“From what I understand guys, there is nothing done for the future of Szoboszlai at this stage. There are many clubs interested. Many clubs are following the player closely.
“It’s true that Chelsea appreciates the player. Chelsea have sent their people to follow the player, to scout the player but at the moment we can’t say that Chelsea are close to signing Dominik Szoboszlai.”
And now Ben Jacobs has provided an update on the situation.
Writing for CaughtOffside, the transfer expert claims Szoboszlai will not leave Leipzig unless his release clause is paid, especially with Christopher Nkunku set to leave for Chelsea at the end of the season.
Chelsea have ‘sent out scouts to watch’ the attacker and the club’s technical director Christopher Vivell ‘is a big fan’ having worked for Leipzig in the past.
Graham Potter obviously would face a tough call ‘working out where he fits’ if the Hungarian is signed given his excessive amount of current options.
The signing of Szoboszlai would be problematic for Mudryk and Sterling due to his strongest position being off the left.
The former only signed in January and the latter is believed to be ‘committed’ to the Blues and is ‘deemed very important to the project’.
A defensive midfielder remains Potter’s ‘priority’ and sales are needed before Todd Boehly invests in other areas of the squad.
Atletico Madrid and Newcastle United are both interested in Szoboszlai , Jacobs adds.
The journalist describes Szoboszlai as ‘a highly intelligent and technical player’ with Leipzig bound to ‘cash in’ eventually as it is their ‘model’ to do so.
Chelsea have been strongly linked with Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol over the last two-and-a-half years.
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