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
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