Graham Potter reviews Chelsea's win against Salzburg
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Chelsea boss Graham Potter has identified Inter Milan defender and former Manchester United target Denzel Dumfries as a player of interest ahead of the January transfer window, according to reports. The Blues spent more than any other Premier League club on recruitment over the summer and are widely expected to loosen their purse strings once again when the market reopens at the turn of the year.
The addition of a new right-back is thought to be among Potter’s top priorities in the mid-season window as a result of the injury to Reece James, who is likely to miss this year’s World Cup due to a long-term knee problem sustained earlier this month. The Chelsea boss has since earmarked Dumfries as his first-choice target in the position and could decide to firm up his interest by sanctioning an official bid in January, according to 90min.
It is claimed that Chelsea have been scouting Dumfries over the course of this season with a view to bringing him to Stamford Bridge when the new year begins. The west Londoners have reportedly been exploring a number of potential right-back targets but have decided to prioritise a move for the Dutchman, with his name having cropped up in discussions on more than a few occasions.
Those in power at Stamford Bridge are said to be concerned over the club’s lack of depth on the right flank, with James having been their sure-fire starter in the role over the last couple of seasons. The likes of Raheem Sterling and Cesar Azpilicueta have deputised at right-back in the absence of James but have struggled to replicate the impact of their stricken team-mate in spite of their best efforts.
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Chelsea are still planning to utilise James as their first-choice starter when he eventually returns to full fitness but would like to sign Dumfries as a high-calibre alternative to the England man when January rolls around. The 26-year-old has previously been linked with a potential move to Manchester United, although it now seems that Chelsea may have leapfrogged the Red Devils in the battle to secure his signature.
There are said to be internal concerns over Dumfries’ price tag, though, with the Blues eager to avoid being fleeced by Inter when the bidding opens next year. The Italian giants are unlikely to be keen on selling their starting right-back in the middle of the season unless Chelsea can make it worth their while, with the player still tied down until the summer of 2025 as things stand.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Dumfries will be prepared to change clubs in January after playing down rumours of a move elsewhere during pre-season. He insisted in an interview with De Telegraaf that although he is pleased that his form is being noticed by other clubs, he remains fully committed to winning another Serie A title with Inter.
“The interest flatters me, of course, but my focus is only on Inter,” said Dumfries when asked for his thoughts about being linked with a move to the Premier League. “We want to win the Scudetto because we lost it last season. Even today, the feeling of having lost the last title burns strongly.”
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