In Focus: Chelsea eye £25m-rated defender; would be another one for the future

According to reports in the Daily Star, Chelsea are eyeing a move for £25m-rated Sporting Gijon defender Jorge Mere.

Who?

Despite being just 19 years of age, the Spain Under-21 international has become a regular for the La Liga outfit at centre-back this season and has made more than 50 league appearances for the club since making his professional debut in 2015.

Mere has played at every youth level for his country, and is expected to be a regular in the senior team in the future.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Sporting Gijon are currently five points from La Liga safety with just seven matches of the season remaining and if they are relegated, then Mere will be in demand.

The story suggests that Valencia would be the frontrunners for the defender’s signature, but that Chelsea could hijack the move as Antonio Conte is keen to bring in a new centre-back this summer.

How has he done this season?

Even though his side has struggled at the wrong end of the table, he has done well and has shown why he is so highly-rated.

The 19-year-old has made 24 La Liga appearances this term, and has shown his defensive awareness by making 101 clearances and 51 interceptions.

He has also shown his confidence on bringing the ball out of defence by completing all of his nine take-ons, while he has a passing accuracy of 82%.

Where would he fit in at Chelsea?

Out on loan?

All jokes aside, if the youngster did move to Stamford Bridge he would probably be sent out temporarily to get the regular first team football that wouldn’t be on offer in the first team.

With Cesar Azpilicueta proving to be such an impressive and consistent performer during his Chelsea career, the Blues would hope that his compatriot could make a similar impact.

The £25m price tag seems steep?

As with a lot of players in European leagues, Mere had the £25m release clause inserted into his contract which is due to run out in 2020, but Sporting would likely accept a lower offer if they are relegated to the Segunda Division.