Chelsea must decide whether £5m a year is good value for experienced defender several top teams are chasing

At almost the same moment that Thiago Silva was telling Chelsea’s fans that he would leave the club this summer, Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo was informing his club that he would be leaving on a free transfer this summer too.

But while Silva is looking to return to Brazil to play out the final stage of his career, Tosin is looking for his big break at a top club. Chelsea have been linked pretty heavily, and an exclusive in CaughtOffside today once again puts us in the frame.

There’s plenty of competition – both AC Milan and Newcastle are mentioned in the piece – but we’re sure the defender can be persuaded to stay in London if we really make an effort.

Tosin Adarabioyo playing for Fulham.

A way for Blues to break their usual structure

Chelsea’s strategy under the new owners has been very clear – sign young players to very long, incentive heavy contracts. Almost none of the players they’ve bought have been over 23. But in this case, we can see them making an exception. The fact that Adarabioyo would be available on a free changes the equation in terms of potential profit and loss on signing him up, something we know is vitally important to the model we have in place now.

He would bring Premier League experience and hopefully the kind of quality we need to replace Silva at centre back. He’s hardly a veteran, but at 26 he’s ancient compared to the majority of our group.

One stumbling block could be the £5m per year wages that Caughtoffside say he wants. That is always the snag when getting a player on a free. Given the amount of interest there’s likely to be in a prime age Premier League defender without a transfer fee, we’re sure Adarabioyo will get that money. It’s just a question of whether it comes from us.

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