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Chelsea eye swoop to sign Marcus Edwards

Chelsea strengthened out wide in 2022/23 with Noni Madueke from PSV Eindhoven and Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk while bolstering their attacking-midfield in 2023/24 with Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig, but Mauricio Pochettino is still looking for a player that can fulfil both roles if reports are to be believed.

Simon Phillips said on Substack that Chelsea are interested in Marcus Edwards. The 24-year-old joined Sporting from Vitoria Guimaraes in 2022 and has gone on to make 68 appearances in all competitions, scoring 15 goals with 17 assists. Edwards is a product of Tottenham Hotspur’s academy and briefly played under Pochettino, so the pair could be renewing acquaintances.

Edwards is a right-winger who can operate through the middle as an attacking-midfielder and makeshift striker, so his versatility would be useful for Chelsea. The Blues have Nicolas Jackson, Armando Broja and new-boy Deivid Washington, but Broja is currently injured while Washington is still young and inexperienced, so Edwards could be a better tried-and-tested option.

The England youth international has three years remaining on his deal at the José Alvalade Stadium, so he won’t come cheap. Edwards has a release clause of £53m and Sporting aren’t obligated to cash in for less money, so Chelsea would be paying the same figure as Nkunku’s transfer fee.

Pochettino is leaving it late in the transfer window to make additions to the first-team, however, so time will tell if this alleged pursuit is successful. Sporting won’t want to lose a player of Edwards’ calibre without the time to replace him, so they aren’t likely to negotiate a deal unless they have to.

Phillips doesn’t say a bid is imminent from Chelsea, but Pochettino has long been a fan of the Englishman. The Blues manager said of Edwards years ago that he reminds him of Lionel Messi, so might there be a reunion? Chelsea aren’t exactly short of options out wide with Nkunku, Mudryk, Madueke and Raheem Sterling so he’s not essential.

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