According to reports, Chelsea and Liverpool are interested in signing FC Porto full-back Alex Telles this summer.
Porto will be desperate to keep hold of their defensive ace, considering the Brazilian played a pivotal role for Sergio Conceicao’s side in their run-up to win the league title last season.
But the Portuguese giants will be helpless if either Chelsea or Liverpool decide to trigger Telles’ modest £35m (€40m) release clause.
As far as Telles is concerned, the Brazilian played for Juventude and Gremio in Brazil, before signing for Galatasaray in January 2014. The left-back spent 18 months with Galatasaray before joining Inter Milan on loan.
Despite being influential during his loan spell, Inter did not sign him permanently and Telles moved to Porto. At Porto, under current boss Conceicao, Telles has succeeded in taking his game to a different level.
Prior to the 2017/18 campaign, Chelsea had made an offer for Telles in 2013 but the Brazilian had already signed a pre-contract with Galatasaray. However, should the Blues go all out for the Porto defender this summer?
Chelsea have been trying to find their preferred candidate to succeed Antonio Conte after an underwhelming fifth-place finish in the past campaign. Despite beating Manchester United to win the FA Cup, Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge remains highly uncertain.
If one views Chelsea’s current options at left-back, Marcos Alonso has established himself as a regular starter under Conte, while Emerson Palmieri arrived from AS Roma in January as a back-up to the Spaniard. The signing of a new left-back is not a priority for the Blues, considering they have Alonso and Emerson.
However, signing Telles from Porto would undoubtedly provide competition for Alonso. However, as far as Emerson is concerned, the addition of Telles could mean the end of the ex-Roma ace’s time at Stamford Bridge.
Telles boasts of better qualities as a left-back when compared to Emerson. The Porto ace is naturally left-footed and he is blessed with fine passing abilities. He is also regarded as one of the best full-backs in Portugal and his crossing ability is second to none. His pace and skills truly set him apart from his competition and his goalscoring abilities are quite impressive as well.
Despite being an attack-oriented player, Telles’ defensive work is equally eye-catching. He is a great tackler and his ability to read the game is top-notch. When caught out of possession, the 25-year-old often uses his blinding pace to cope up and steal the ball away from the opposition.
The presence of Alonso and Emerson clearly suggests that Chelsea do not need to splash money for another left-back. However, Telles has a rare combination of athleticism, agility and goal-scoring abilities which makes him a significant upgrade to Emerson.