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Chelsea transfer news: Blues 'set to challenge Arsenal for £56m centre-forward'

Chelsea 'set to challenge Arsenal for £56m centre-forward'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly set to compete with Premier League rivals Arsenal for the signature of RB Leipzig attacker Benjamin Sesko in the upcoming transfer window.

Chelsea are reportedly set to compete with Premier League rivals Arsenal for the signature of RB Leipzig attacker Benjamin Sesko in the upcoming transfer window.

The 21-year-old forward enjoyed an excellent second half of the Bundesliga season, netting seven goals in his last seven appearances, bringing his league total to 14 for the campaign.

Across all competitions, he scored 18 goals and provided two assists in 44 games, averaging a goal involvement every 103 minutes on the field.

Sesko arrived in Leipzig last summer from Red Bull partners Salzburg and has quickly established himself as one of Europe's most promising young strikers over the past year.

Aside from the Premier League giants mentioned, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are also keeping an eye on the highly-rated Slovenian.

Benjamin Sesko celebrates scoring for RB Leipzig in April 2024© Reuters

Chelsea set to rival Arsenal for Sesko signature

Arsenal were believed to be the frontrunners in securing Sesko's services this summer, but The Standard reports that they are now expected to face competition from London rivals Chelsea.

The report adds that the 21-year-old has a £56m release clause attached to his name, which the Blues may be prepared to trigger.

It is understood that Chelsea are eager to sign a new centre-forward ahead of the 2024-25 season under new manager Enzo Maresca, who was unveiled as Mauricio Pochettino's successor earlier this week.

Nicolas Jackson experienced a mixed first season at Stamford Bridge, while Christopher Nkunku spent the majority of the campaign sidelined due to injury.

The Blues have been monitoring Victor Osimhen for a while but are believed to be unwilling to spend over £100m, which is what Napoli are asking for to part ways with their in-demand striker.

Additionally, the West Londoners have also been linked to Brighton & Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson, although a formal approach for him is yet to be made.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Kai Havertz pictured on April 6, 2024© Reuters

Arsenal prioritise centre-forward signing this summer

Arsenal's striking department, on the other hand, faced serious criticism for much of the season, with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah having a combined goal tally of just nine in the Premier League.

In addition, there have been several reports in recent weeks suggesting that Nketiah could be looking for a summer move away from the Emirates Stadium in search of more regular playing time.

While Kai Havertz performed impressively in the latter stages of the campaign, it is understood that Sesko is considered a more natural striker and a much longer-term option in the Gunners' setup.

Mikel Arteta's side finished as runners-up for the Premier League title to Manchester City for a second consecutive season in 2023-24, falling short of the Citizens by just two points.

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RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko during the warm up on February 13, 2024
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