According to Spanish outlet Sport, Chelsea have identified Nabil Fekir as one of their principle targets to replace Eden Hazard, should the Belgian leave the club this summer.
Chelsea are not the only Premier League giant with interest in Fekir though. Sport Witness have reported, via L’Equipe, that Liverpool remain in contention for the Lyon man’s signature.
Jurgen Klopp may have identified the France international, and recent World Cup winner, as the ideal inheritor of Coutinho’s role within his squad.
New Blues boss Maurizio Sarri should go all out to get this deal done though, as Chelsea need Fekir much more than their red rivals do. Especially if Eden Hazard does leave Stamford Bridge during this transfer window.
Even if Hazard does stay, Chelsea are crying out for a player who can help ease the attacking burden on himself and Willian. Much of Chelsea’s struggles last season came from an over reliance upon these two individuals to make the difference in too many games.
There is room for Fekir at Stamford Bridge, and the tactical and systematic doors that would be opened by having Hazard, Fekir and Willian all at his disposal would be exciting for Sarri.
Despite having not brought anyone in to replace Coutinho in a like for like manner, Liverpool have been getting on fine without the Brazilian, even reaching a Champions League final.
Fekir, like Coutinho, is a goalscoring playmaker, slightly more reliant upon his technical skills than athletic prowess. The extreme speed and dynamism of Klopp’s attack, which gets the best out the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, has no call for a Fekir-type anymore.
Liverpool have their front 3 well settled and the recent arrivals of Naby Keita and Fabinho, with Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pushing for inclusion too, meaning there is no room for Fekir at Anfield.
At Stamford Bridge, the Frenchman could become a star man to rival, or even replace, Eden Hazard.