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Chelsea preparing bid for Lyon youngster Rayan Cherki

Chelsea are set to submit an official bid for Lyon attacking midfielder Rayan Cherki as they look for a replacement for AC Milan-bound Christian Pulisic, according to ESPN.

Mauricio Pochettino is continuing to overhaul his squad and he’s on the look out for another attacker with Pulisic on his way to AC Milan. Montpellier forward Elye Wahi has been linked with Chelsea, however, Cherki has now emerged as a prime target.

Paris Saint-Germain have also been chasing the 19-year-old and had a bid turned down in January but Lyon made it clear they were open to doing business at the right price.

The French side’s current financial situation could force them to cash-in on Cherki. He was one of their best performers last season as he helped Lyon finish 7th in Ligue 1.

Cherki featured in 39 games, scored five goals, and recorded six assists across all competitions. He represented France at the just-ended 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship where they were knocked out in the quarterfinal by Ukraine.

The youngster is versatile and can play a number of positions across the attacking midfield area and out wide. At age 19, he is not the finished article but according to ESPN, Cherki is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and has the potential to become a world class player.

The report says Lyon are willing to sell Cherki for around £34m (€40m) this summer. The France midfielder has two years left on his current contract. Chelsea have a good working relationship with Lyon after signing Malo Gusto in January and loaning him back to the club for the rest of the season.

Replacement for Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic’s move to Stamford Bridge from Borussia Dortmund has not worked out as he has struggled to nail down a starting berth in west London.

According to ESPN, the United States international is on the verge of joining Serie A side AC Milan and is set to undergo his medical. Milan agreed a £20m deal with Chelsea for the 24-year-old after successful negotiations.

Pulisic racked up 30 appearances and made three goal contributions across all competition last season as the Blues finished 12th in the Premier League. In total, he has made 145 appearances, scored 26, and provided 21 assists for Chelsea.

His imminent exit means Chelsea have to make further reinforcements in attack to compliment recent signings Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku.

Read more: Chelsea in talks over move to sign £25m Ligue 1 star, formal offer to be tabled soon – report

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