Chelsea paves the way for Manchester City in battle with Barcelona over Conde deal

Manchester City are keeping an eye on developments around the future of Sevilla defender Jules Conde as they consider alternatives to Nathan Ake.

Barcelona are leading the chase to sign Conde and are offering Dutch striker Memphis Depay as part of their offer.

Manchester City made an offer for Conde before signing Ruben Dias for £61 million in 2020 and they are evaluating the goals before allowing Aki to join Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Barcelona are also in the running for Conde, with Gerard Pique’s future far from certain, but he will find it difficult to cope with the financial strength of Manchester City and Chelsea.

And the looming bidding war is good news for Seville, who want to sell their guns to the highest bidder.

Sevilla are hoping to demand a hefty fee for the 23-year-old to reinvest in the squad after defender Diego Carlos was sold to Aston Villa for £26million earlier in the transfer window.

Chelsea had also long had ambitions to sign the Frenchman and had an agreement in principle last summer, before a fight broke out between the two clubs over the fees.

The Blues are strongly linked to Conde, especially after the losses of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on free transfers to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Despite continuing to keep an eye on Conde, Chelsea seemed to be turning their attention elsewhere with their interest in Juventus’ Matthias de Ligt, but it is Chelsea’s hunt for Nathan Ake that could pave the way for Manchester City to take the race for Enter Conde.

Also read | De Ligt forces Bayern Munich to leave Lewandowski for Barcelona

If Chelsea manage to pursue Aki, City boss Pep Guardiola has a loophole to fill his defense and has identified Conde as Ake’s successor, according to the British newspaper Daily Mail.

But Manchester City may not have a clear shot at a Conde deal, as Chelsea could still try to attack the defender if their efforts to lure De Ligt to Stamford Bridge are unsuccessful.

With German champions Bayern Munich also joining De Ligt’s race, it seems that any team missing the Dutchman will see Conde as an ideal backup option.