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Chelsea ‘keeping tabs on Piero Hincapie at World Cup’

Chelsea ‘keeping tabs on Piero Hincapie at World Cup’

Chelsea have reportedly identified Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie as a potential transfer target for 2023.

The Blues made significant investments in defenders during the summer transfer window, signing the likes of Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly.

However, with Thiago Silva now 38 years of age and Chelsea having not found a like-for-like replacement for Antonio Rudiger on the left-hand side of their back three, Graham Potter is likely to welcome the opportunity to bring in a younger option for that area of the pitch.

With Chelsea requiring alternatives in other areas of the pitch after a disappointing opening period to the season, it remains to be seen which position will get priority in January.

Nevertheless, according to The Mirror, Chelsea are giving consideration to making an approach for Hincapie.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter during Champions League fixture at AC Milan on October 11, 2022.© Reuters

The 20-year-old is currently impressing at the World Cup with Ecuador, starting in each of their fixtures against Qatar and Netherlands over the past week.

After helping his nation to a clean sheet against Qatar in the tournament’s opening game, Hincapie starred as the South American country earned a 1-1 draw versus Netherlands on Friday.

Hincapie’s performances come off the back of establishing himself as a regular at Bayer Leverkusen during 2022-23, making 18 appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

Although Leverkusen are in the bottom half of Germany’s top flight and have been demoted to the Europa League, Hincapie played the full 90 minutes on all three occasions as his side beat Union Berlin, FC Koln and Stuttgart before the World Cup, conceding just one goal in the process.

Bayer Leverkusen's Piero Hincapie celebrates scoring against Celtic in the Europa League on September 30, 2021© Reuters

Chelsea are said to have scouts in the Middle-East who are assessing the performances and capabilities of Hincapie ahead of the club potentially pressing ahead with a bid.

While Hincapie has a contract at the Bay/Arena until 2026, it is claimed that Leverkusen are expecting offers for his services on the back of his displays for club and country.

Leverkusen paid just €6.4m to sign Hincapie in 2021, and they would expect to at least treble that fee if they are to cash in on the prospect in the future.

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have also been credited as admirers of Hincapie, although it is unclear whether they would opt to move for the player at the turn of the year.

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