Fabrizio Romano has reservations about reports suggesting Trevoh Chalobah could leave Chelsea for Manchester United, with the Premier League giants looking at alternative centre-back targets.
At a time in which some of Europe’s most talented young defenders appear to be on Manchester United’s radar – Jarrad Branthwaite, Goncalo Inacio, Giorgio Scalvini and Jean-Clair Todibo to name but four – those Trevoh Chalobah links feel, well, a little odd.
Especially considering that Chalobah has not been deemed good enough to play even a minute of football for Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino this term, left out of the squad once again for Sunday’s madcap 4-4 draw with Man City at Stamford Bridge.
Romano insists that the £45 million-rated Chalobah will be on his way out of West London in January. But, having spoken to sources well-versed with Manchester United’s winter plans, Romano is not expecting to see Chalobah follow in Mason Mount’s footsteps.
Romano dismisses Manchester United links
“One player who is expected to leave Chelsea is Trevoh Chalobah, who was a target for both Bayern Munich and Nottingham Forest during the summer,“ Romano tells Caught Offside. “He remains out of the first-team picture and so I 100 per cent expect him to leave Stamford Bridge this January.
“Still, I’m not convinced by the recent rumours linking Chalobah with Manchester United. It seems to me like easy ‘guess work’ because he is leaving Chelsea and Man United want to sign a centre-back. I’m honestly not aware of anything concrete there. (There are) no negotiations as of now.
“My understanding remains that United want a centre-back signing as a priority in 2024, with targets such as Goncalo Inacio, Antonio Silva, Edmond Tapsoba and Jean-Clair Todibo on their list when I spoke to sources recently.
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“There has been no mention of Chalobah.”
Jean-Clair Todibo could be United bound
United reportedly scouted Inacio over the weekend. The Portugal international will have hardly made the best of impressions, however, sent off as Sporting Lisbon suffered their own Bayern Munich ‘99 moment against bitter rivals Benfica, the hosts scoring twice in stoppage time to win 2-1.
Branthwaite, meanwhile, only recently signed a new contract at Everton.
As such, there is a feeling that Todibo may be the most attainable acquisition. The excellent Muppetiers YouTube channel indicated last week that Todibo is ‘very likely’ to be Man United’s next centre-back signing, perhaps as a long-term replacement for fellow Frenchman Raphael Varane.
The Ineos connection – Nice owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe set to take over an initial 25 per cent of Manchester United – should help to smooth over any potential negotiations.