Chelsea 'trying last-minute transfer hijack' to sting their Premier League rivals

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly could attempt to sign Tosin Adarabioyo when his Fulham contract expires (Image: GETTY)

Chelsea are reportedly attempting a transfer hijack to get their hands on Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo. The 26-year-old is set to quit Craven Cottage when his contract expires this summer, with Newcastle and Manchester United hunting for his signature.

Adarabioyo joined Fulham from Manchester City in October 2020 following loan spells with West Brom and Blackburn.

The centre-back came through the Citizens academy but failed to make the grade at the Etihad Stadium and left the club after being handed just eight first-team appearances.

But Adarabioyo has excelled in west London and was a key part of a Fulham defence that kept 10 clean sheets in the Premier League during the 2023/24 campaign.

Last week, the BBC reported that the Red Devils were vying with Newcastle to sign the player on a free transfer.

The 13-time Premier League champions are especially interested due to the fact they won’t have to pay Fulham a fee, while Magpies boss Eddie Howe is a known admirer of the centre-back. But, according to HITC, Chelsea have made a late move to land the player.

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Chelsea are reportedly attempting to get their hands on Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo (Image: GETTY)

Chelsea are set to lose star defender Thiago Silva this summer, with the 39-year-old returning to Brazil to play for Fluminense. The Blues have spent prodigious sums of cash since Todd Boehly bought the club at the end of May 2023, but are currently without a manager after they parted ways with Mauricio Pochettino.

The Red Devils could have a trump card up their sleeve in the race for Adarabioyo, however, as the player was previously managed by United’s new technical director Jason Wilcox at Manchester City.

And Adarabioyo told The Times in February: “The coaching [at City] was top level. I learned so much from Jason. He was always pushing me, telling me I need to get close to the first-team and supporting me, and I managed to do so.”

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Fulham boss Marco Silva was asked about the prospect of keeping Adarabioyo in west London during an interview with TNT Sports earlier this month. And the Portuguese conceded that the former England youth international looks likely to leave along with former Chelsea star Willian.

“I would like [them to stay],” explained Silva. “It should be a priority to try to keep them, and to improve from that core of players.

“There’s been a lot of noise around Tosin. Being honest, it’s really difficult to renew with him. Probably at the end of the season he’s going to leave the club. Not 100 per cent, but probably it’s going to happen.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1903857/Chelsea-Fulham-Tosin-Adarabioyo