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Chelsea will fall further behind PL rivals if Liverpool beat them to £45m-rated playmaker

The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping to see a huge improvement in their club’s performances next season following a sobering campaign under Antonio Conte. 

Whether Conte will remain in charge at Stamford Bridge for much longer remains to be seen, but it seems increasingly likely that he will be replaced by Maurizio Sarri this summer. However, the Blues will need to make improvements to their squad as well as their management in order to return to the top-four next season, but recent reports suggest they could lose out to Liverpool in the race for Lyon’s Nabil Fekir.

According to Goal, Liverpool are set to step up their effort to sign Fekir this week with talks over a potential £60 million deal set to begin shortly. The same report claims that Liverpool will face competition from Chelsea and a host of other clubs, but Liverpool believe they will be able to fend off interest from elsewhere and win the race for his signature.

Interest from Liverpool and Chelsea is hardly surprising considering the quality of Fekir’s performances in Ligue 1 last season. Lyon’s captain managed to score 18 goals and provide 7 assists from 30 appearances in the French top-flight last season, earning a place in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad in the process.

In a number ten position Fekir (valued at £45 million by Transfermarkt) has been able to utilise his natural dribbling ability to devastating effect whilst providing an end-product to match his build-up play, so he should have no problem adapting to English football should he eventually move away from the French giants.

After Chelsea’s 5th place finish it’s imperative that they make an immediate return to the Champions League next season, but if recent reports regarding Fekir’s future prove to be true they could be cut further adrift of the top-four next season.

Although Chelsea possess plenty of options in wide midfield positions, they are missing the presence of a quality central attacking player and Fekir’s arrival would solve that nagging problem for the club.

With Naby Keita set to arrive at Anfield and the signing of Fabinho confirmed earlier this week, Liverpool are threatening to open up a gulf in class between themselves and Chelsea next season, so the Blues must do everything they can to hijack their bid for Fekir and bring one of Europe’s finest attacking players to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Chelsea fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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Article title: Chelsea will fall further behind PL rivals if Liverpool beat them to £45m-rated playmaker

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