Chelsea have already identified Thiago Silva replacement after emotional transfer decision

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva

Chelsea confirmed on Monday that Thiago Silva will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

While it was not a shock to anyone, Silva sent an emotional message to Blues supporters after deciding to end his almost four-year stay at Stamford Bridge. At 39 years old, though, this day has been coming for quite a while and Chelsea have not waited around for it to happen, it seems.

The club have been scouring the transfer market for a while now for alternative centre-back options to replace Silva when he does end his role in west London at the end of his contract. Chelsea have looked at – and scouted intensely – Ousmane Diomande from Sporting CP.

The 20-year-old is widely regarded as one of the top central defenders of his age in European football. Diomande still has over three years left to run on his contract with the Portuguese club but there is said to be an expectation at the Estadio Jose Avalade that there will be interest and potentially offers for the Ivorian this summer.

Arsenal and Liverpool have too been linked alongside Chelsea. There are rumours Diomande has a £68million release clause in his contract at Sporting but Chelsea would try and sign him for considerably less than that should their interest turn to a bid in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Marc Guehi, the man who was sold by Chelsea to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2021 for around £18million, is also a target for the Blues. Chelsea have monitored Guehi and his progress since moving to Selhurst Park and he remains an option ahead of the summer.

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Chelsea do not have a buyback clause in Guehi's contract at Palace but the Blues have first refusal, so they will be able to match any offers that go in elsewhere for the England international defender. Before Guehi departed Stamford Bridge, understands Chelsea offered the defender fresh terms on a new contract but he refused as he did not want to be loaned out once again – a cycle many Blues players go through.

Meanwhile, Jean-Clair Todibo was being looked at by Chelsea in January but understands interest in the Nice defender has since cooled. The 24-year-old has also been linked with a move to Manchester United and AC Milan.

Chelsea will be hoping they can welcome back Wesley Fofana as soon as possible. The 23-year-old defender has been missing since last summer after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

Fofana will not return for the remainder of the season but Chelsea will be hoping he is available for their summer tour of the United States ahead of the 2024/25 campaign. Fofana has played just 15 times in the Premier League since signing from Leicester City in 2022 for a fee that could eventually rise to £80million.

The future of Trevoh Chalobah is uncertain. The Blues have been looking to ship the Cobham graduate off for the last few transfer windows but for one reason or another, Chalobah has stayed put at Stamford Bridge.

His form since returning to the team a couple of months ago has been highly promising so it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will change their stance on him in the summer. However, with Chalobah being from the academy, any sale would account as pure profit – which is much more appealing for clubs nowadays in the age of the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules.