EletiofeChelsea sign Thiago Silva on free transfer to bolster...

Chelsea sign Thiago Silva on free transfer to bolster Lampard’s defence


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  • Brazilian signs one-year deal with option for extra year
  • Silva joins to improve defence who conceded 54 goals

Former PSG defender Thiago Silva has signed a one-year deal with Chelsea

The former PSG defender Thiago Silva has signed a one-year deal with Chelsea.
Photograph: Julian Finney/Uefa/Getty Images

Chelsea have followed the £50m signing of Ben Chilwell from Leicester by landing Thiago Silva on a free transfer and are putting the finishing touches to their £90m move for the Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz.

Frank Lampard has been searching for defensive reinforcements and the chance to sign the 35-year-old Silva, who left Paris Saint-Germain after their defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, was seen as too good to turn down.

Chelsea, who will take their summer spending to the £220m mark once Havertz’s arrival is confirmed, have given the Brazil centre-back a one-year deal with the option of an extra year and hope his experience will stiffen a leaky defence.

Chelsea, who intend to send Malang Sarr out on loan after signing the 21-year-old French defender to a five-year deal, have been keen to strengthen at the back after conceding 54 goals in the Premier League last season. They landed their top target at left-back after confirming the signing of Chilwell from Leicester on Wednesday and have been scouring the market for additions in central defence.

Lampard, who has already strengthened in attack by signing Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, has looked at Atlético Madrid’s José Giménez, Brighton’s Ben White and West Ham’s Declan Rice. However they will all be difficult to acquire this summer and Chelsea moved swiftly after being offered the chance to sign Silva. The defender made up his mind to move to Stamford Bridge after rejecting an offer from Fiorentina and he passed a medical in Milan on Thursday.

While Silva turns 36 next month, his class is not in doubt and he impressed during PSG’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern. Silva, who joined PSG from Milan in 2012, believes that he is still capable of playing at a high level and Chelsea will hope the veteran will be able to handle the pace of the Premier League.

Lampard, who felt his team was too quiet last season, already has four centre-backs at his disposal and the arrival of Silva will raise doubts over the futures of Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori. Rüdiger and Christensen have less than two years left on their deals and Zouma has been linked with PSG. Everton and Rennes are interested in signing Tomori on loan.

Lampard could still target another centre-back in the right circumstances and wants to bring in a goalkeeper after losing faith with Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea have explored the possibility of signing Jan Oblak from Atlético and have been linked with the Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea, who were unable to sign anyone last summer, have been aggressive in the market since their transfer embargo was lifted in December. Ziyech and Werner are exciting additions and Havertz, who is set to become their record signing, will further enhance their attacking threat. The 21-year-old Germany international’s move from Leverkusen could be completed before the end of the week.

Roman Abramovich, the club’s owner, has sanctioned a heavy spending spree and Chelsea will look to raise funds through sales before the window shuts on 6 October. Milan are in talks to sign Tiémoué Bakayoko on loan and Emerson could join Internazionale. Chelsea will also listen to offers for Michy Batshuayi, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater, Jorginho and Davide Zappacosta.

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