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Chelsea: Nicolas Jackson completes medical ahead of move from Villarreal, with AC Milan pushing to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Nicolas Jackson has a €35m (£30.1m) release clause in his Villarreal contract; Bournemouth agreed a deal to sign the Senegal international in January but he failed his medical; Jackson scored 13 goals in 38 games for Villarreal last season, outperforming Chelsea's forwards

Jackson is in London and set to have his Chelsea medical
Image: Nicolas Jackson moved to Villarreal from Senegal in 2019

Nicolas Jackson has completed his medical ahead of a move to Chelsea from Villarreal.

The Senegal forward has a €35m (£30.1m) release clause in his Villarreal contract, with the final details on an eight-year contract at Stamford Bridge being finalised.

Bournemouth agreed a deal to sign Jackson for £22.5m in January but the 22-year-old failed his medical with a hamstring problem.

Jackson emerged as a key target for Chelsea this summer as they look to refresh their forward line having already secured the signature of Christopher Nkunku from German side RB Leipzig.

In all competitions last season, Jackson scored 13 goals and provided five assists for Villarreal and official confirmation of his move to Stamford Bridge is expected in the coming days.

AC Milan want to sign Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Image: AC Milan want to sign Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Meanwhile, AC Milan are pushing to get a deal done for midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There were talks between the clubs earlier this month, driven by then-sporting director Paolo Maldini, but those talks stopped when Maldini left. It now appears the interest in the player has re-surfaced.

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Sky Sports News has been told the fee under discussion for Loftus-Cheek is €20m (£17.1m) and it's thought the player is very open to the move.

If a deal can be struck, Loftus-Cheek would join his former team-mates Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud at the San Siro.

Sky Italy are reporting Milan are also interested in Christian Pulisic. Earlier this month, the USA international indicated it may be time for a new challenge after admitting things hadn't worked out for him at Chelsea last season.

Caicedo interest to be formalised after series of exits

Chelsea are expected to formalise their interest in Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo once a number of departures are confirmed: Kai Havertz to Arsenal, Mateo Kovacic to Manchester City, Edouard Mendy to Al Ahli and Hakim Ziyech to Al Nassr.

The Blues are also keeping an eye on their goalkeeping situation and Inter Milan's Andre Onana is one they are interested in. However, any incomings will depend on whether Mauricio Pochettino keeps Kepa as his number one.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta in action against Manchester United
Image: Inter Milan are ready with a deal to sign Cesar Azpilicueta

Meanwhile, the club are in talks with captain Cesar Azpilicueta over his future. He has one year left on his contract and it is thought he wants to be allowed to leave on a free transfer, with Inter Milan ready with a deal to sign him. Sky Sports News has been told talks have been very amicable, given the player's service to the club.

Inter are still exploring a deal to sign striker Romelu Lukaku, too. Chelsea are willing to do business, but would want a permanent transfer, or at least a deal that guaranteed an obligation to buy. As it stands, they have no plans to let him go on a straight loan.

And there is strong interest from Saudi Arabian clubs and European clubs in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has one year left on his contract. Discussions continue with Chelsea over what have been described as "viable exit routes".

Patience needed for Jackson at Blues

Nicolas Jackson's 2022/23 league stats compared to Chelsea forward.
Image: Nicolas Jackson's 2022/23 league stats compared to Chelsea forward

Chelsea have a desperate need to bring in a new No 9 this summer in a bid to resolve the goal-scoring issues that mean Diego Costa remains the last striker to score 20 goals in a season for the club - and that was six years ago.

Those problems came to a head last season when no player scored more than nine goals as Chelsea slumped to 12th in the Premier League, exacerbating the desire to strengthen their forward line.

However, Jackson is not the eye-catching name that many supporters may have been hoping for this summer.

The 22-year-old, who has one cap for Senegal, was only promoted to Villarreal’s first team on a full-time basis last season, while he would have joined Bournemouth in January had he not failed a medical.

It’s unlikely that Chelsea would have considered a move for Jackson in the previous window, given his modest record of just three goals in his first 18 LaLiga games of the season.

However, he exploded into life down the stretch, scoring nine in his final eight matches to help Villarreal to Europa League qualification.

That impressive form at the end of the season means Jackson compared favourably to Chelsea’s crop of forwards during the 2022/23 campaign, ranking highest for goals and big chances scored per 90.

However, it must be pointed out that none of Chelsea’s forwards performed to their expected levels last season, while Jackson’s numbers for possession wins and completed passes compare unfavourably to the attacking players already at Stamford Bridge.

As such, it’s unfair to expect Jackson to arrive at Stamford Bridge and immediately fix Chelsea’s issues in front of goal. Don’t be surprised to see the club pursue another No 9 this summer.

Instead, a longer-term view should be taken with Jackson. His hot streak last season demonstrates his potential but his lack of experience at the top level, as well as the room for improvement in aspects of his game, shows patience may be needed from Mauricio Pochettino and the Blues’ fans.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 14 and closes at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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