Premier League club Chelsea are looking at Piero Hincapie as an alternative to transfer target Josko Gvardiol, according to Sky Sports.
The Bayer Leverkusen centre-back is another highly-touted defensive prospect. The Blues will try to sign him if they miss out on Gvardiol.
Chelsea have been chasing Gvardiol since last summer. They tried to open negotiations with RB Leipzig, but the Bundesliga club refused to sell.
While Chelsea and Leipzig dragged matters on the negotiation table, Manchester City made an £80 million bid for the talented 20-year-old. The Bundesliga side swiftly rejected the deal.
The transfer window closed, but Chelsea and Leipzig continued discussions for the player. There were rumours he was in advanced negotiations to join Chelsea, but nothing happened.
Gvardiol then went to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has been one of the standout defenders of the tournament.
His impressive performances have attracted interest from Real Madrid. The 14-time Champions League winners admire his performances and are weighing up a move.
They have already beaten Chelsea to a deal for Brazilian prodigy Endrick and could do the same for Gvardiol.
If another club gets the Croatian, Chelsea will move for Hincapie, who has a similar profile. The Ecuador international is also 20 and one of the most promising young defenders in the world.
Hincapie joined Die Werkself on a five-year deal after leaving Argentine club Talleres. He made 33 appearances for the club before his transfer.
The move came after Hincapie impressed for Ecuador at the 2021 Copa America. He made his senior international debut in his side’s group opener against Colombia.
He started all five games before his side crashed out in the quarter-final after losing to Argentina.
Hincapie can play as a left-back and centre-back. He is solid in the tackle and loves to make them, especially sliding challenges. He is also a neat and effective passer of the ball.
He is not as progressive as Gvardiol, but they have a very similar style. They are both talented but prone to rash errors, which is natural for their age.
If Chelsea don’t sign Gvardiol, Hincapie is a near-perfect alternative stylistically and won’t cost as much.
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