Aston Villa star Jhon Duran responds to Chelsea transfer links amid Enzo Maresca summer plans

Jhon Duran of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring their third goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Liverpool FC at Villa Park on May 13, 2024 in Birmingham, England.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran has commented on rumours that have linked him to a move to Chelsea this summer as the Blues look to bolster their attacking options for the 2024/25 campaign.

New manager Enzo Maresca has seen his side heavily linked with a move for the 20-year-old over the past few weeks, having struggled in front of goal under Mauricio Pochettino last season. Nicolas Jackson's inconsistency in front of goal throughout the year meant the Blues had to rely on star winger Cole Palmer for a majority of their goals, with the 21-year-old leading them to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

Chelsea have already secured their first two signings of the summer, with Fulham centre-back Tosin Abarabioyo having already arrived at Stamford Bridge while the European Championships play out while Palmeiras forward Estevao Willian is set to join the club next summer when he turns 18.

It's a big step in filling some holes left over from Pochettino's tenure, the end of which saw Thiago Silva leave the club in May after a stellar four-year stint to return to Fluminense in Brazil. Now with other forward options in the market for Maresca to plan out and scout, Chelsea have been turned off by RB Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko after the Slovenian international signed a new one-year extension with the Bundesliga side.

Elsewhere, Victor Osimhen's time at Napoli seems to be no closer to ending, Newcastle United's Alexander Isak would cost them £180m and Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise appears to have eluded the Blues for a second summer in a row after appearing to ready himself for a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, leaving them with Duran as a potential target for the summer having been previously interested in the 20-year-old back in January.

Having played second-fiddle to talisman Ollie Watkins under Unai Emery, Duran's eight goals in 37 appearances since January 2023 have meant his start to life in the Midlands has been quite underwhelming.

READ MORE: Cole Palmer proves Gareth Southgate wrong as England boss 'knocks' Chelsea star's confidence

READ MORE: Isak signs, Olise alternative found and PSR problem solved - Chelsea's biggest transfer jobs

Despite that, it was reported that the Blues had reached a £42m agreement with Villa for the star earlier this month, but the Blues seem to be doing a fair amount of due diligence around other options which has left Emery's side effectively in limbo. When asked about speculation that he could join Chelsea this summer, Duran was hesitant to confirm or deny anything about his future.

He told Gol Caracol while on international duty at Copa America: "The options of the other teams, I don’t know, I am not aware now. I’m focused on the national team, at the Copa America, wanting to add minutes, supporting the team a lot. For those topics of a possible move, I already have other people who take care of that."