Chelsea keen to trigger 22-year-old ace’s £25.1m release clause

Chelsea are keen to lure Benfica centre-back Victor Lindelof to the west end of London and are even willing to trigger the €30m (£25.1m) release clause in his contract to do so, according to reports from Record.

The 22-year-old Swede, who only made his senior international debut in March, has risen to prominence this year, breaking into the Lisbon giants’ first-team before travelling with his home country to EURO 2016, where he featured in all three of their group stage games.

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This breakthrough has seen Lindelof talked about as one of the top talents in Portuguese football, and reports claim that Chelsea have been alerted.

It’s understood that the Londoners are extremely keen on the defender, and that the player’s agent has even informed the Primeira Liga champions’ president, Luis Felipe Vieira, that the club are willing to match the release clause in his contract, which stands at just shy of £25.1m.

Interestingly, although Lindelof is a centre-back, he’s been known to play at right-back in the past.

Antonio Conte is currently short of options in that position, with Branislav Ivanovic’s decline over the course of the last 12 months having been alarming.

A move for the Scandinavian may also be a signal that Chelsea have conceded defeat in their battle with Manchester City for Leonardo Bonucci.