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Chelsea transfer news: Boehly and Tottenham tried to sign Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah in January

Jonathan Tah Germany Bayer Leverkusen
© IMAGO

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur BOTH tried to sign Bayer Leverkusen centre back Jonathan Tah in the winter transfer window but the player’s tantalisingly low €18 million release clause, which had been active the previous summer, had elapsed.

That’s according to Kicker, who state that the 28-year-old could end up leaving at the end of this season with Xabi Alonso’s side on the brink of a first-ever Bundesliga title and with a shout of a potential treble, including the DFB-Pokal and Europa League.

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Tah has been imperious for the German league leaders, starting 23 times in the top flight, and has proven to be a threat from set-pieces having registered four goals.

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His form was quickly noticed by top dogs like Chelsea and Tottenham ahead of the January transfer window but Leverkusen were in a position to knock back interest as they chased success on three fronts.

Chelsea and Tottenham winter defensive crisis

Both Premier League clubs were suffering an acute defensive crisis with Chelsea players like Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile all out with various injuries at one stage or another.

Tottenham, meanwhile, had been heavily reliant on Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero owing to a lack of options in the position but they have since completed an initial €25 million deal for Genoa’s Radu Dragusin, potentially rising to €30m.

Had the two teams shown interest in the transfer window just prior, they could well have had the bargain of the season on their hands with €18m for Tah being a relative snip.

Tah is expected to start for Germany at the upcoming European Championship on home soil and will be going into the tournament regarded as one of the top centre backs on the continent.

Leverkusen could cash in on Tah this summer

The former Hamburg player is out of contract in 2025 and contract talks have been shelved until the end of the season.

Leverkusen chief Simon Rolfes would like to keep Tah at the club long term, as they head back to the Champions League and into the European elite under Alonso, but so far there are no guarantees over his future.

A strong end to the season, starting with a Europa League quarter-final against West Ham, and a strong showing at Euro 2024 could see Tah’s price driven up and Leverkusen might well seek to cash in.

Tah would be keen to listen to offers should any materialise from a top-six Premier League club as he holds a wish to test himself at that level.

Having spent nine years at the club, making over 300 appearanaces, signing off with a potential treble might well be the perfect way to say goodbye.

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