Chelsea readying opening bid for £34m-rated Lyon star to replace Christian Pulisic

Rayan Cherki

According to rumours, Chelsea Football Club is preparing an opening bid for Lyon striker Rayan Cherki as they attempt to replace the departed Christian Pulisic.

The west London club has already had a busy summer, with Mauricio Pochettino wanting to cut his roster even further.

In the following days and weeks, Romelu Lukaku, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all anticipated to be released.

However, Pulisic is the closest to leaving, with AC Milan having made an upgraded deal for £19 million after the USA star made it plain he did not want to join Lyon, who had also made an offer.

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Despite the additions of Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku this summer, Chelsea’s massive summer exodus has left the team short on options in both midfield and attack.

They are already hoping to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, and ESPN reports that Cherki has been identified as the guy to enhance their attacking options.

The 19-year-old player is regarded as one of France’s most promising young players, having scored four goals and provided six assists in Ligue 1 last season after a particularly productive end to the season.

Rayan Cherki

Despite France’s poor campaign, he maintained his form at the Under-21 European Championship with some eye-catching exploits, and Chelsea scouts were thrilled with what they saw.

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Lyon is willing to sell Cherki for roughly €40 million (£34 million), as the club is now struggling to comply with France’s financial fair play standards.

The Ligue 1 club would almost certainly have to sell many players to pay any new signings, with defender Castello Lukeba also linked with a move to RB Leipzig.

Chelsea and Lyon have an excellent relationship dating back to the January deal for Malo Gusto, and they have been in communication recently about Pulisic – but the American has decided to transfer to Milan.

Cherki’s versatility is thought to be appealing to the Blues, with the teenager capable of playing on either flank, as a No.10, a second striker, and even as a false nine.

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Chelsea are also keeping an eye on Montpellier forward Elye Wahi, who is a more traditional striker, and both are considered as fitting the profile of a young, potential player the club’s recruitment team wants to sign.