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Chelsea 'preparing £51.3m bid for Man United-linked Atalanta BC midfielder'

Chelsea 'preparing £51.3m bid for Atalanta midfielder'
© Reuters
Chelsea reportedly prepare a €60m (£51.3m) bid for Atalanta BC midfielder Teun Koopmeiners, who has also caught the eye of Manchester United.

Chelsea are supposedly planning to steal a march on Manchester United in the race to sign Atalanta BC midfielder Teun Koopmeiners by formulating a bid for the Dutchman.

Formerly making a name for himself as a defensive midfielder, Koopmeiners - who joined Atalanta from AZ Alkmaar in 2021 - has thrived in a more attacking role under Gian Piero Gasperini over the last two years.

The 26-year-old has had a direct hand in 17 goals from 38 matches this term - 13 of his own and four assists - including 11 strikes in the 2023-24 Serie A campaign to lead his side's scoring charts and better his tally of 10 from last term.

Koopmeiners also played the full 90 in La Dea's shock 3-0 Europa League quarter-final first-leg win over Liverpool at Anfield last week, and he is under contract at Atalanta until the summer of 2027.

However, the Netherlands international is unlikely to see out the last three years of his agreement, as he recently confirmed that he had submitted a transfer request to Atalanta for the summer window.

Netherlands' Teun Koopmeiners on June 11, 2022© Reuters

Chelsea to offer more than £50m for Koopmeiners

Koopmeiners's admission is believed to have put Manchester United on red alert, while Liverpool and Juventus have also been credited with an interest in the former AZ starlet.

Atalanta director Luca Percassi has offered a different version of events, though, claiming that Koopmeiners has not asked to leave the club, while also affirming that no offers for his services have arrived yet.

That may soon change, though, as according to Sportmediaset, Chelsea have also taken a liking to Koopmeiners and sent scouts to watch him in action during last week's beating of Liverpool at Anfield.

The 26-year-old did not completely cover himself in glory on Merseyside, missing two big chances to potentially increase Atalanta's margin of victory, while committing two fouls and being caught offside twice.

Nevertheless, Koopmeiners's overall displays in 2023-24 are believed to have convinced Chelsea that he is worth pursuing, and the Blues are apparently preparing a bid of €60m (£51.3m) to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

What could Koopmeiners's arrival mean for Conor Gallagher's future?

Chelsea's Conor Gallagher celebrates scoring their first goal with Nicolas Jackson on February 12, 2024© Reuters

While there is no guarantee that Chelsea's offer will be accepted by Atalanta, who will likely be braced for bids from Man United and Juventus too, the Blues rarely fail to get their man under the Todd Boehly regime - see fellow midfielders Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.

The former has quickly formed a near-unbreakable partnership with Enzo Fernandez in the heart of Chelsea's engine room, whereas Lavia's debut season has been disastrous owing to his fitness woes, but he ought to prove himself as a vital player for the club in years to come.

With Lesley Ugochukwu, Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei also coming through the ranks, Koopmeiners's prospective arrival could very well spell the end of Conor Gallagher's time at Stamford Bridge.

There has been no progress between Chelsea and Gallagher in talks over a new contract, with the midfielder's current terms expiring in the summer of 2025, likely forcing the Blues into a sale this summer if negotations still fail to bear fruit.

Gallagher's versatility has come in handy this season, but with Koopmeiners also proving his competence as a number six, number eight and number 10 in recent months, the former could be surplus to requirements if his Dutch counterpart swaps Serie A for Stamford Bridge.

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Romeo Lavia in action for Chelsea on December 27, 2023
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