?Chelsea are eyeing up a £30m summer swoop for Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles, according to reports.
The Blues’ defensive frailties have been a significant factor in the club’s fall from Premier League champions to likely Europa League participants next season – with that being shown up once more during the club’s 3-1 home defeat to Spurs on Sunday.
And, according to ?The Mirror, the Stamford Bridge talent spotters have noted the Magpies captain as a potential difference maker ahead of what could be their second campaign outside of Europe’s elite competition in three years.
The Chelsea scouts have highlighted Lascelles due to his sharing of traits with club legend John Terry; specifically, his leadership qualities and no-frills defending, and it is thought that they would be willing to part with up to £30m for the Englishman.
The 24-year-old joined the St James’ Park outfit in 2014 from Nottingham Forest before returning to the City Ground on loan in the same season, alongside goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
In 2016, boss Rafa Benitez opted to hand the former England Under-21 international, who missed out on Gareth Southgate’s friendlies squad last month, the captain’s armband; something he not failed to take advantage of.
Last month, reports claimed West Ham United were also in the running for the centre-back, with the Hammers willing outlay around £15m in order to land the Newcastle man.
However, considering Lascelles’ impressive campaign so far this term and despite the Toon still fighting for their Premier League lives, Chelsea’s £30m evaluation seems more respectable.
Although the defender is happy with life on Tyneside, a proposed move to Stamford Bridge would be difficult for the expected future England international to turn down.