5 defenders Chelsea should sign after missing out on Virgil van Dijk transfer to Liverpool, including Manchester United target with bargain release clause

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Just yesterday Chelsea morning were still being linked as contenders for Virgil van Dijk, but by the evening his transfer to Liverpool for £75million was confirmed.

The Daily Mirror listed Chelsea as among the clubs who could benefit as Southampton decided to sell the Dutchman, only for BBC Sport to announce his move to Liverpool in the evening.

Still, there are other centre-backs out there if Chelsea still want to strengthen in that area, and we’ve put together a list of five we think could be ideal and vaguely realistic.

Who would you most like to see rock up at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans?

Leonardo Bonucci

Supposedly unhappy at AC Milan, Calciomercato recently linked Chelsea as admirers of imposing Italian centre-half Leonardo Bonucci.

He may be set to turn 31 in May, but Bonucci is one of the best in the world in his position and could be an ideal fit under former national team boss Antonio Conte at the Bridge.

leonardo bonucci ac milan
Leonardo Bonucci has recently been linked with a transfer to Chelsea

Raphael Varane

Don Balon recently claimed Raphael Varane was up for sale at Real Madrid in a surprise move, and this could be an opportunity worth looking into for Chelsea.

The France international has been one of the top young defenders in Europe for some time, and looks an ideal fit for the Blues right now.

Samuel Umtiti

One of the best defenders in the world right now, Samuel Umtiti has shone at Barcelona and Don Balon claim the club are worried about his release clause.

The report states it could cost just £53million to snap him up from Barca, with Manchester United among the clubs interested in the Frenchman.

Chelsea can surely afford that and should act fast if they want to beat their Premier League rivals to his signature.

umtiti barcelona
Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti could be a fine signing for Chelsea

Medhi Benatia

Sky Italia, translated by the Daily Express, recently linked Juventus defender Medhi Benatia as a £35.5million target for Arsenal.

If that is truly all it would take to sign the Morocco international, Chelsea should be in there like a flash – he’s a rock solid player who’d surely choose the Blues over the Gunners if given the chance.

Kostas Manolas

Sky Sports claimed Chelsea were considering a move for Roma defender Kostas Manolas in the summer, so could they try again for the Greece international?

With David Luiz out of favour, it’s surely worth looking at any one of these five central defenders after seemingly missing out to Liverpool for the signing of Van Dijk.

More Stories Kostas Manolas Leonardo Bonucci Medhi Benatia Raphael Varane Samuel Umtiti Virgil van Dijk