Chelsea have switched their attention to Germany international Shkodran Mustafi after failing in their attempt to land Leonardo Bonucci, according to the Mirror.
New manager Antonio Conte is looking to strengthen a Chelsea defence that shipped 53 goals in the Premier League last season and never really recovered after their woeful start. The Valencia defender is the latest name being touted around Stamford Bridge.
Mustafi is being lined up after having been linked with a move to Barcelona earlier this summer before they signed Lyon’s Samuel Umtiti.
The 24-year-old has spent the past two seasons making a name for himself at Valencia and was also part of Joachim Löw’s squad that won the 2014 World Cup. He then scored the opening goal for Germany at this summer’s Euro 2016.
Mustafi has previous experience in England having been with Everton between 2009-12 but did not make a single first-team appearance under David Moyes before being released in 2012.
As it looks as though 29-year-old Bonucci will either join Manchester City for a substantial transfer fee, or stay with Juventus, the Mirror report that Chelsea are looking at Shkodran Mustafi for a fee in the region of £25 million.
With Valencia failing to qualify for either European competition this season the La Liga side could see some of their stars sold. Chelsea have already been in discussions with the Spanish side over the potential signing of Euro 2016 winner André Gomes.
Mustafi is a 6’0″ defender who is excellent in the air and a good reader of the game – he could certainly be a good signing for the Blues should they land him this summer. Conte currently has John Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma, Matt Miazga and Branislav Ivanović on his books as options at centre-back for the upcoming season.
The Italian tactician is expected to switch from a 4-2-3-1 formation to 3-5-2 with Cahill and Ivanović’s futures in doubt and captain Terry turning 36 in December.