Chelsea close to winning race for young Inter midfielder Cesare Casadei

Chelsea are close to winning the race to sign Internazionale’s highly rated midfielder Cesare Casadei. Nice have also targeted Casadei, but it is understood Chelsea are pushing to complete the signing of the 19-year-old this week. They have had two bids rejected and are expected to be successful with their third offer, which could be as much as £12m.

The pursuit of Casadei is further evidence of Chelsea’s determination to bolster the young talent on their books. This summer they have signed the 18-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire and midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka, also 18, from Aston Villa for £20m. They are interested in the Palmeiras prodigy Endrick, though the Brazilian is being courted by many of Europe’s top clubs.

It is unclear if Chelsea are planning for Casadei to go into their first team immediately. Thomas Tuchel has plenty of competition in midfield, so Casadei could be placed into the development squad at first. An alternative would be to send him back on loan to Serie A.

However, Chelsea do need to make plans to freshen up their midfield options. N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho are out of contract next year. Kanté excelled during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Sunday, but the Frenchman is 31 and is facing another spell on the sidelines after sustaining a hamstring injury.

Chelsea are also understood to be considering whether to bid for the Everton winger Anthony Gordon, but Everton are adamant the 21-year-old is not for sale. Frank Lampard, Everton’s manager, is a huge admirer of the academy product and is determined not to lose him. Newcastle and Tottenham have also targeted Gordon, but his club want to give him a new long-term deal.

Chelsea have already spent heavily on their first team this summer, buying Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, but they intend to make more signings. They are pursuing the Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana and remain in talks with Barcelona over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong.

Signing Aubameyang would increase Chelsea’s attacking options after the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. The former Arsenal forward, who moved to Spain in January, enjoyed a productive relationship with Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

Barça, who are trying to complete the signing of the Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso, could be forced to sell Aubameyang because of their financial problems. They have spent vast amounts on new players and are keen to raise funds through sales and Chelsea hope to beat Manchester United to the signing of De Jong.

Chelsea are expected to let Callum Hudson-Odoi leave on loan. The winger has interest from Newcastle, Leicester, Southampton and Borussia Dortmund.