Chelsea identify new defensive target and can repeat Carney Chukwuemeka transfer success

Chelsea identify new defensive target and can repeat Carney Chukwuemeka transfer success

Chelsea have invested heavily in young talent this summer following the takeover by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital

Ronnie Edwards was part of the England Under-19 side that won the European Championship this summer

Chelsea are considering a move for Peterborough United defender Ronnie Edwards but are expected to face competition from a number of Premier League sides, understands.

New Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano have given the club’s head of youth development Neil Bath and head of youth recruitment Jim Fraser strong financial backing in the transfer market this summer and several signings have arrived.

Goalkeeper Eddie Beach was first through the door after being recruited from Southampton while Omari Hutchinson was brought in from Arsenal, Zak Sturge signed from Brighton, Gabriel Slonina was purchased from Chicago Fire, and £20m was spent to land Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa.

Following Brexit, Chelsea have shifted their focus to signing young English talent where possible and Edwards fits the bill having been part of the England Under-19 squad – alongside Chukwuemeka and Blues academy graduates Teddy Sharman-Lowe, Bashir Humphreys Harvey Vale – that clinched their European Championship this summer.

The 19-year-old was the only player selected from outside the top two divisions of English, German and Italian football and featured in four of the Young Lions’ five matches during the competition.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Spurs, Aston Villa, Southampton and Crystal Palace have all previously registered their interest in Edwards and Peterborough would as part of any bid like to keep the centre-back on loan for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign as they bid to return to the Championship.

“I’ve had conversations with people at Chelsea who are in the know and who would be involved in any decision-making,” Posh director of football Barry Fry has today told the Peterborough Telegraph. “They came to watch [Chelsea loanee] Lucas Bergstrom, but they were taken by Ronnie. They haven’t made a bid yet, but there are three weeks until the transfer window closes. They certainly like him.”

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