Chelsea sign Chilwell for £50m and look to take spend­ing above £220m

➤ Left-back con­vinced to sign by Lam­pard’s vi­sion for club ➤ Silva poised for med­i­cal to add to club’s sum­mer re­cruits

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By John Percy

Chelsea have com­pleted the £50mil­lion cap­ture of Ben Chilwell and are close to sign­ing Thi­ago Silva as Frank Lam­pard’s re­cruit­ment drive con­tin­ues.

Chilwell, the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional, has signed a five-year con­tract at Stam­ford Bridge worth about £190,000 a week to end an 11-year as­so­ci­a­tion with Le­ices­ter City, in an­other huge state­ment of in­tent from Lam­pard.

Silva, the for­mer Paris St-Ger­main de­fender, will fol­low im­mi­nently and is poised for a med­i­cal at the club’s train­ing ground to­day.

The Brazil in­ter­na­tional is sign­ing an ini­tial one-year deal and is seen as an­other key sign­ing as Lam­pard re­vamps his squad, fol­low­ing their fourth-placed fin­ish in the Premier League last sea­son.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions are con­tin­u­ing over a club record £90mil­lion deal for Kai Havertz, the Bayer Lev­erkusen at­tack­ing mid­fielder, as Chelsea move to take their spend­ing this year over the £220mil­lion mark.

Chilwell, 23, was Lam­pard’s top tar­get at left-back and Chelsea have cap­i­talised on Le­ices­ter’s fail­ure to qual­ify for the Cham­pi­ons League by bring­ing him to Lon­don.

He said: “I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing a part of this young, dy­namic squad led by Frank Lam­pard as we chal­lenge for hon­ours next sea­son.

“I ob­vi­ously wanted to play for a mas­sive club, that’s what ev­ery­one wants for their ca­reer, but talk­ing to Frank was one of the main rea­sons why I wanted to come.

“He in­stilled a lot of con­fi­dence in me, told me how much the sys­tem suits my play, and seemed like a re­ally good guy that you can talk about stuff away from foot­ball. I think that’s re­ally im­por­tant for a young player, that you’ve got a man­ager you can talk to stuff about.

“He’s very keen on young play­ers, you’ve seen that since he’s been here. I can’t wait to get started and hope­fully it won’t be long be­fore we’re play­ing in front of the Chelsea fans at Stam­ford Bridge.”

Chilwell is the lat­est re­cruit fol­low­ing the ar­rivals of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech ear­lier this sum­mer. He could miss the start of the sea­son af­ter sus­tain­ing a heel in­jury to­wards the end of last cam­paign, which re­sulted in him miss­ing the fi­nal five games, but Chelsea med­i­cal staff are con­fi­dent there are no ma­jor is­sues.

Chilwell al­ready has 11 caps with Eng­land but has been left out of Gareth South­gate’s squad for the forth­com­ing Na­tions League games against Ice­land and Den­mark next month.

Ma­rina Gra­novskaia, the Chelsea di­rec­tor, said: “We are very pleased to have com­pleted our third ad­di­tion to our ex­cit­ing squad for the com­ing sea­son. Ben brings plenty of top-level ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing in the Premier League, Cham­pi­ons League and at in­ter­na­tional level, de­spite his young age.

“We are con­fi­dent Ben will adapt very quickly to be­ing a Chelsea player and, with the fix­ture pro­gramme for 2020-21 es­pe­cially busy, he is a fan­tas­tic ad­di­tion to the squad needed to chal­lenge for hon­ours.”

Chilwell is the third Le­ices­ter player to be sold to Chelsea in the past four years, fol­low­ing N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwa­ter. His sale en­sures Le­ices­ter have col­lected over £125mil­lion from the west Lon­don club in trans­fers since win­ning the ti­tle in 2016.

New blue: Ben Chilwell was un­veiled at Chelsea’s train­ing ground af­ter sign­ing a five-year con­tract worth about £190,000 a week

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