Date: 2nd February 2022 at 3:15pm
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Chelsea may have had an uneventful January transfer window, but boss Thomas Tuchel is already looking ahead to the summer and has a three-man shortlist, according to reports. 

The Athletic are reporting that the German has drawn up the list of targets, with the Blues planning a summer spending spree to bolster their squad in order to mount a title challenge next term.

West Ham United’s Declan Rice is among the three names that Tuchel has identified as targets.

The Englishman has been superb for the Hammers over the past two seasons, acting as club captain in the absence of Mark Noble, and his form for both club and country has seen him linked with a number of top clubs across Europe.

Chelsea, the club with which Rice spent most of his youth career, appear to be the player’s most likely next destination, with the Blues preparing a significant offer to be made in the summer.

Chelsea’s current midfield crop, consisting of Jorginho, Ngolo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, have impressed so far this term, but the Frenchman and the Croatian have both struggled with injuries which have highlighted a lack of depth in the middle of the park.

With that in mind, the Blues are also reportedly chasing Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.

The defensive midfielder has been in outstanding form in Ligue 1 over the past 18 months, and has also shone on the international stage since making his senior debut for France in September last year.

Rice has been heavily linked with a return to boyhood club Chelsea

The 22-yer-old, who has also been linked with Manchester United, has reportedly been slapped with a colossal £83 million price tag, however, which could deter both Premier League clubs.

The final name on Tuchel’s wanted list is Jules Kounde, who has been heavily linked with the club for 12 months now.

The French defender looked almost certain to make the move to SW6 last summer, but the deal fell through in the final stages.

He has since remained in Seville, and Chelsea are reportedly plotting another bid for the player when the season ends.

The La Liga side are believed to have lowered their asking price back down to a fee that had been agreed between the two clubs last year.

While the two sides had reached an agreement, the Spanish side reportedly upped their demands during negotiations and the entire deal therefore fell through.

Kounde would be the ideal signing to ease Tuchel’s defensive concerns, with Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta all set to be out of contract in the summer.

The trio are all free to sign pre-contract agreements with foreign clubs at any time in the next six months, and the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have been circling around the players.

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