Chelsea set to raid Lille in search for Thiago Silva successor but face tough competition from PSG and Real Madrid

Chelsea want to raid Lille for Thiago Silva successor but face competition from PSG and Real Madrid

Chelsea have set their sights on signing Lille youngster Leny Yoro as they look to bring in a long-term successor to Thiago Silva, according to reports.

The west London club have already spent heavily on new centre-backs under their new ownership, bringing in the likes of Wesley Fofana, Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi.

But the looming departure of Thiago Silva will necessitate yet another defensive signing, with the Brazilian set to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Chelsea have already raided Ligue 1 on countless occasions over the past few years and now the Evening Standard are reporting that they want to make Yoro their latest recruit.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant, breakout campaign for the French side, playing in all but one of Lille’s league games as they have moved up to fourth in the table – and they are only four points off second.

Yoro is a precocious, ball-playing, modern centre-back – averaging 62 passes per game, the most of any player aged 23 or under in Ligue 1 – while he has also netted twice.

He fits the exact mould of young, up-and-coming talent that Chelsea’s recruitment team have prioritised.

However, Chelsea are far from the only club who have been alerted to Yoro’s talent and both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also interested in him.

PSG are expected to make a big play to lure him to the Parc des Princes in the summer having shifted their recruitment approach to target young, homegrown, French talent, while transfer advisor Luis Campos is well aware of Yoro from his time at Lille.

Chelsea are conscious of the significant competition they face for Yoro and have also drawn up a list of alternatives.

Once again, Ligue 1 features heavily with Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo – who has been linked with Tottenham and Manchester United recently – on their radar, as is Sporting Lisbon’s Ousmane Diomande.

Thiago Silva, meanwhile, is now widely expected to leave Chelsea in the summer when his contract expires and has been linked with a return to boyhood club Fluminense.

The Brazilian, who turns 40 in September, missed several games through injury and, since returning, has been dropped to the bench by Mauricio Pochettino despite limited defensive options.

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