Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in signing PSV midfielder Ibrahima Sangare this summer.
Sangare is believed to have a €35m (£29.9m) release clause in his contract and has also been linked in the Dutch media with Liverpool and Newcastle.
A source close to the 24-year-old said the player has his heart set on moving to England and is convinced he will be a Premier League player next season.
Sangare joined PSV from Toulouse in September 2020 and has three years remaining on his deal with the Eredivisie club.
The Ivory Coast international was a regular for PSV last season, playing 49 times in all competitions as Roger Schmidt’s side won the Dutch cup, finished second to Erik ten Hag’s Ajax in the league and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League.
Sangare spent most of the season playing as the defensive midfielder in Schmidt’s 4-3-3 formation, with the graphic below showing how he excelled in a number of key metrics.
Chelsea eyeing Kante’s cover?
Chelsea are once again able to operate in the transfer market after the sanctions placed on the club by the UK government were lifted when the Todd Boehly-led consortium completed its takeover of the club from Roman Abramovich last month.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel said after the victory against Watford on the final day of the Premier League season that his squad would need a “rebuild” this summer, with a number of players potentially leaving.
There are doubts over the futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who have just one year each remaining on their contracts.
Kante has started just 45 of a possible 76 Premier League games in the last two seasons, and Tuchel said last month it was a “miracle” his side had finished third after missing the France international for so much of the campaign.
Kante is the only natural ball-winning midfielder in Chelsea’s squad, and given his durability issues, it is no surprise the Blues are keen to strengthen in that area.
Ten Hag targeting midfield improvement
Like Chelsea, Manchester United are also expected to be active in the transfer market this summer, with Erik ten Hag looking to improve the squad he has inherited after arriving from Ajax.
Ralf Rangnick, the interim manager who was replaced by Ten Hag, spoke on a number of occasions during his time at Old Trafford of the club’s need to overhaul a squad that slumped to sixth in the Premier League and failed to win a trophy for the fifth successively next season.
Midfield is an obvious area in need of improvement, with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic both leaving United on free transfers this summer following the expiry of their contracts.
Scott McTominay, Fred and Donny van de Beek – who spent the second half of the 2021/22 season on loan at Everton – are the only central midfielders currently available to Ten Hag.
Sangare will be a player the manager knows well, having spent the past two seasons together in the Eredivisie, while the midfielder claimed an assist as PSV beat Ten Hag’s Ajax in the Dutch cup final this season.
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