Chelsea 'on cusp of fifth summer signing' for Riccardo Calafiori replacement – Football News

Chelsea 'on cusp of fifth summer signing' for Riccardo Calafiori replacement

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly continues to splash out on signings. (Image: Getty)

New Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca continues to be busy in the summer transfer window with the Italian already reportedly on the verge of his fifth signing. Maresca’s overhaul is now set to include Basel left-back Renato Veiga, with the two clubs having reportedly agreed a deal.

The Portuguese defender only arrived in Switzerland a year ago, having struggled to break into the senior ranks at Sporting CP.

But following the sale of Arsenal target Riccardo Calafiori to Serie A side Bologna last year, the 20-year-old proved himself a capable replacement at Basel, making 26 club appearances last season and breaking into his country’s Under-21 set-up.

And according to HITC, he’s now set to head to Stamford Bridge in a £12million deal, and has told the club he intends to fight for a first-team place. The left side of defence became a problematic area for the London side in the 2023/24 campaign, amid the ongoing injury problems of Ben Chilwell.

Marc Cucurella has also struggled for form since his £55m move from Brighton two years ago. Despite featuring regularly for Spain in the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament, the 25-year-old remains linked with a move away, and came close to a loan spell at Manchester United last year only for the two clubs to be unable to reach an agreement.

Signing Veiga continues the theme of Chelsea’s summer spending since Maresca took over. There’s been no sign of the lavish transfer fees and inflated contracts that signified Todd Boehly’s early tenure, with the Blues instead appearing to target potential and more moderate financial bids.

FC Basel v FC Bayern München - Friendly Match

Renato Veiga impressed at Basel last season. (Image: Getty)

But despite speculation that the club’s spending would be limited in this window due to profit and sustainability rules, the Championship winning manager has been backed. Tosin Adarabioyo was the first through the door this summer, the centre-back signing on a free transfer from Fulham.

Aston Villa teenager Omari Kellyman and Barcelona’s Marc Guiu, who like Kellyman is only 18, have also been added. Midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has also followed Maresca from Leicester for a £30m fee.

But while Veiga would represent a fifth signing since June 14, a sixth has already been lined up for 12 months’ time. The Blues have also sealed a deal for 17-year-old Estevao Willian from Palmeiras, who will join in the summer of 2025.

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In the meantime, the winger will stay at Palmeiras for a further year, before arriving for a £52million fee. And Chelsea have been linked with further buys, with the club expected to table a second offer for Atletico Madrid striker Samu Omorodion after a first bid was reportedly rejected.

The sale of Ian Maatsen to Aston Villa has helped raise funds, with the fee said to be in the region of £37.5m. The future of another academy product, Conor Gallagher, also remains up-in-the-air with the midfielder touted to be sold when he returns back from Euro 2024.