Chelsea could go after five midfielders after Bellingham ‘rejection’

Chelsea v Fulham: Pictures

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Despite signing Enzo Fernandez over the summer, Chelsea are not content with their options in the centre of the park. Jude Bellingham has been identified as a potential target, though the playmaker has reportedly rejected a move to the Blues.

Bellingham is expected to prove hot property at the end of the season, with Borussia Dortmund resigned to being forced to cash in on his services. Liverpool and Real Madrid are keen to sign the England international, with Manchester City also interested.

Chelsea had identified Bellingham as a target for the summer, though Sport 1 claim that he has already turned them down – as well as Paris Saint-Germain. Graham Potter will therefore be forced to turn his attention elsewhere when plotting his next move as Blues boss. Express Sport takes a look at five alternative options…

Moises Caicedo (Brighton)

Chelsea will have breathed a sigh of relief after watching Brighton bat away Arsenal’s two bids for Moises Caicedo last month. Potter is keen to reunite with the Ecuador international and is expected to be available over the summer when the Seagulls are more willing to conduct transfer business. Caicedo is being eyed by numerous top European clubs, though a move to work under his former manager could prove very tempting given he brought him into the Brighton first team last year.

Declan Rice (West Ham)

An obvious option for Chelsea is to reignite their long-standing interest in England international Declan Rice. The midfielder is expected to leave West Ham this summer after rejecting contract extension offers at the club, with Arsenal leading the race to sign him. However, despite Rice’s eagerness to jump ship, it will still come at a significant price – though that won’t be an issue for Chelsea, as shown over the last 12 months.

Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton)

If Potter is still under pressure during the summer, he would favour signings that he has worked with previously. Therefore, Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister could be pursued if he continues to impress on the south coast. The Argentina international penned a new deal at the Amex Stadium prior to his World Cup success which means that Brighton will be able to demand a significant fee for his services, though he could be worth the risk at just 24.

Edson Alvarez (PSV)

Chelsea came close to striking a deal to sign Mexico international Edson Alvarez over the summer, and he is expected to remain of interest. The 24-year-old is contracted to PSV until 2025 and they are in no rush to offload the midfielder, though Chelsea may be able to test their resolve with a significant bid.

Romeo Lavia (Southampton)

Chelsea reportedly submitted a bid of £50million to Southampton just weeks after he arrived from Manchester City. The 19-year-old has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water and could be available for a cut-price fee if the Saints are relegated this season. The Frenchman would allow Fernandez to be deployed in a more attacking role, similar to how he played at the Qatar World Cup.

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