Exclusive - Chelsea have decided that they need a new left-back, with neither Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri in their long-term plans.
The Blues have successfully promoted a host of their youth players to the first team this season under their transfer ban, but they don’t have a left-sided player ready to step up at the moment.
As a result, 90min understands Chelsea have informed their scouts to start looking at left-backs from across the world.
Among their options is Leicester man Ben Chilwell, although the Foxes are ready to offer the England man a new long-term contract. However, with the Blues, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all supposedly keen, they could have a big task to keep him.
The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the finest left-backs in the Premier League, and will likely command a huge transfer fee as Leicester are not keen on parting ways with such an important player.
Should Chelsea miss out on Chilwell, they will have a number of different alternatives to turn to. Near the top of their shortlist is Basel’s Paraguayan star Blás Riveros, who has been watched by scouts on a number of occasions this season.
The 21-year-old has already racked up 72 appearances for the Swiss side and is seen as one of South America's most exciting prospects in his position.
Riveros would certainly be the cheaper option, but Chelsea would prefer a move for Chilwell because of his Premier League experience.
Until their transfer ban is lifted, the Blues will persevere with both Alonso and Emerson, while 17-year-old Ian Maatsen could be involved in cup competitions this season after making his debut in the Carabao Cup victory over Grimsby Town.
Alonso was the saviour on Saturday as he netted the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United, as the Blues continue in the chase for a top-four finish.
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