Chelsea held negotiations with 18-year-old Ukrainian defender

The London giants are zeroing in on the acquisition of Ilya Zabarnyi. The highly-rated Dynamo Kyiv centre-back is being tipped for a switch to Chelsea in the summer, with the recently-crowned European champions having submitted a €12m bid.

Ex-Blues striker and current Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko has reportedly played a crucial role in convincing the Chelsea bosses to take a look at Ilya. Zabarnyi has already enjoyed a breakthrough season at Dynamo Kyiv, playing 21 league games.

Ilya’s defensive partnership alongside the likes of Mykolenko, Tomasz Kedziora and Oleksandr Karavaev have indeed played a crucial role in helping Dynamo secure the Ukrainian championship. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by top teams either, with Blues appearing quite keen on securing his services before the start of the European championship.

Needless to suggest, Ukraine international is expected to play a crucial role for the national team in the Euros, which, in turn, could massively affect his valuation. Chelsea, as a result, are intent on completing the deal for only €12m, as the German manager hopes to add more options to his defensive ranks.

Thomas Tuchel doesn’t have any other choice either, as Tomori is soon expected to make his loan move to Milan permanent while Thiago Silva is nearing the final phase of his career. Cesar Azpilicueta, too, should not be viewed as a long-term option, leaving Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger as the only viable options.

At the age of 18, the Ukrainian centre-back also has time on his side, although he is not the only young defender Blues are eyeing at the moment.