Chelsea are desperately trying to play catch-up in the race to sign England midfielder Jude Bellingham next summer.
It’s believed that the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership have already attempted to make inroads into the Bellingham camp, despite being told that Real Madrid and Liverpool are ahead of them.
Boehly, the co-controlling owner and interim sporting director, still believes that Chelsea have enough time to make a serious play for Bellingham and has not been put off by warnings that Real and Liverpool have been working on a potential deal for months.
Bellingham is quickly becoming the hottest young property in world football, with Borussia Dortmund likely to have to cash-in on the €150 million-rated midfielder at the end of this season.
Still currently without a permanent sporting director, Boehly is believed to have taken the attempt to sign the 19-year-old on his own shoulders to make inquiries over Bellingham and foster what he hopes could be key relationships.
Real and Liverpool have already spent months doing that, while there also remains a fear that Manchester City will seriously turn their attention towards Bellingham, given his excellent performances for Dortmund and England.
Chelsea’s new owners spent almost £300m (€360m) during their first transfer window since taking over the club from Roman Abramovich, but Boehly and Co are already preparing to splash more cash in the future, with midfield one of the priority positions.
Preliminary talks have been held over trying to extend N’Golo Kante’s contract, which expires at the end of the season, while the club are also debating whether to offer Jorginho, who is in the same situation, a new deal.