Chelsea 'shortlist' Bayern Munich ace as Thiago Silva replacement amid contract stand-off

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Chelsea have identified Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard as a potential target for next summer if he fails to agree a new deal with the German champions over the coming months, according to reports. The Blues are said to be on the lookout for additional reinforcements at the back in advance of next season, with Thiago Silva yet to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge despite only being tied down until the end of the current campaign.

Chelsea were tentatively linked with a move for Pavard, who is a natural right-back but can also play through the middle, during pre-season but ultimately decided to look elsewhere in their efforts to strengthen in defence. They could firm up their interest in Pavard at the end of the season, though, after adding him to their shortlist with a view to snapping him up next year, according to Bild.

It is claimed that Chelsea are keen on moving for the Frenchman if he decides against extending his stay at Bayern Munich, with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2024. The Bundesliga giants are hoping to reach an agreement over a new deal in the not-too-distant future but are aware that they may be forced to sell up in the summer to avoid eventually losing him on a free transfer.

Pavard started in each of Bayern Munich’s first six matches but has recently found himself kicking around on the bench, with Julian Nagelsmann having made several changes in an attempt to curb their lacklustre start to the season. It would not be a surprise to see him linked with a move away in January or at the end of the campaign if he fails to regain his status as a starter, but it remains to be seen whether Chelsea would be looking to take advantage of the situation.

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The Blues spent heavily on recruiting new defenders over the summer, with owner Todd Boehly financing big-money moves for Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana prior to last month’s all-important deadline. The American billionaire has shown that he is not afraid to loosen his purse strings and could well do so again in order to land Pavard if Graham Potter instructs him to pursue the 26-year-old at some point down the line.

The player himself, meanwhile, did little to play down the speculation over his future in pre-season by admitting that he would be prepared to consider a move away from Bayern Munich if the right opportunity presents itself.

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“I questioned myself, I had calls from different clubs with my agent,” Pavard told Telefoot. “Afterward, I had the Bayern coach with whom we spoke and with whom we have a good relationship.

“He made me understand that I was in his plans, that I was important for the team. Maybe one day I will go to one of these clubs, you never know what the future holds. I’m still a year at Bayern Munich. Afterwards, we have time to project ourselves.”

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