Chelsea break transfer policy for Tosin Adarabioyo - but there is a good reason why

Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA)

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Tosin Adarabioyo on a free transfer, understands.

The 26-year-old defender is close to signing a long-term deal at Stamford Bridge with his contract at Fulham due to expire at the end of the month. Adarabioyo had offers from elsewhere but is understood to be an admirer of the project at Chelsea.

Newcastle United are still in for the former Manchester City defender but Chelsea are growing increasingly confident they can beat their Premier League rivals to his signature. The Blues are after a new central defender with Thiago Silva having left the club to rejoin Fluminense with his contract expiring.

Trevoh Chalobah has plenty of admirers elsewhere in the Premier League and Chelsea remain open to selling the 24-year-old defender this summer. With Chalobah being an academy product, any sale will account for pure profit and the club are looking to get in line with the Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

However, was told when learning about the Adarabioyo transfer that any move for the defender does not relate to Chelsea trying to sell Chalobah. That is not to say, though, that the Cobham graduate will remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this summer.

Chelsea signing Adarabioyo, who is 27 in September, is not something the club's co-sporting directors would usually do. While 26 is not old whatsoever, the Blues' model is to try and go for players even younger than that.

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With a player of Adarabioyo's talents available on a free transfer, though, the club believe it is a 'no-brainer' to move for him, understands. Adarabioyo made 20 appearances for Fulham in the Premier League last season and that is despite missing nine matches after having surgery on his groin at the start of the campaign.

Adarabioyo wants to play right at the very top. He has big ambitions to get into the England setup eventually, as he revealed in an interview with The Times earlier in the year.

"England have good centre-halves like [John] Stones, but I would definitely back myself to be a top international footballer," he said. "Every player has ambitions to reach those tournaments, just like I have ambitions to reach the highest points of club football, too.

"We all know my contract is up in the summer but all things are still possible. My main focus is on having a good end to the season."