Chelsea have ramped up their pursuit of Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries following Reece James’ latest injury setback, according to reports.
It is believed that Graham Potter will assess the severity of James’ injury before making a decision, but Dumfries has been on Todd Boehly’s shortlist for a while now.
Any move for the Dutchman would likely require a sizeable transfer fee, but there is no doubting the Inter defender’s quality.
James made his return from a months-long absence in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth yesterday but unfortunately seems to have exacerbated his previous injury.
Indeed, Potter confirmed earlier today that James’ injury affected the same part of his knee that he had been recovering from since Chelsea’s Champions League group stage bout with AC Milan in October.
A club statement has since confirmed James will be out for up to a month.
Now, according to Sky Sports Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio, via FCInterNews, Chelsea are keen to sign Dumfries as a replacement should James be out for a considerable length of time.
Since signing for Inter in August 2021, the Dutch right-back has become one of the first names on Simone Inghazi’s team sheet.
Overall, Dumfries has featured 65 times for the Italian giants, contributing seven goals and 10 assists.
Dumfries could be the perfect replacement for Reece James
A powerful, largely attacking wing-back with the ability to score and create, on paper, the 26-year-old could be the ideal person to cover for James.
Dumfries has enjoyed success with the Nerazzurri, lifting the Copa Italia earlier this year and the Italian Super Cup in 2021.
He also played fantastically in the World Cup, too, featuring in every game of the Netherlands’ campaign which saw them reach the quarter-finals.
With the Dutchman under contract with Inter until 2025, it is thought that a hefty offer would be required from Chelsea to make the Italian club consider selling him midseason.
However, as reported by TEAMtalk yesterday, Inter have already started looking for a replacement for Dumfries, suggesting that an offer is expected come to fruition.
Chelsea are not the only club in the race for the full-back though, as Manchester United and Spurs also have a long-standing interest in the Dutchman.
United look set to offload Aaron Wan-Bissaka in January, and his most likely next destination is a return to Crystal Palace.
Erik ten Hag appears desperate to make Dumfries Wan-Bissaka’s replacement, so he can compete with Diogo Dalot for a starting spot.
Spurs, on the other hand, have been relying on the likes of Emerson Royal, Matt Doherty and Djed Spence at right-back and Antonio Conte doesn’t seem to trust any of them. Dumfries could potentially be a top-class solution to the Italian’s current selection headaches.
However, now Chelsea look set to be without James for at least the next few games, it’s thought Boehly will attempt to blow the competition out of the water and sign Dumfries this winter.
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