Football News

Chelsea transfers: Basel confirm Renato Veiga talks as Blues ‘versatile’ target leaves pre-season camp

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:30, 7 July 2024

Chelsea is close to making FC Basel midfielder Renato Veiga their latest summer acquisition.

The Swiss club has confirmed that the 20-year-old is in negotiations with another club, reportedly Chelsea, and a deal worth around £12 million is said to be close to completion.

Veiga, who progressed through the academy ranks at his hometown Sporting CP, made 26 appearances for Basel last season after joining them in 2023 following a loan spell with German side FC Augsburg.

The versatile Lisbon-born talent can be a centre-back, left-back, or defensive midfielder. He has represented Portugal at the U21 level and is the son of former Cape Verde star Nélson Veiga.

Basel are currently on a pre-season training camp in Austria and has confirmed that Veiga left to hold talks with another club.

“Renato Veiga has left the training camp – he is in talks with another club,” a statement read.

It’s been a busy summer for the Blues, as they’ve already signed five players. They recently concluded a deal for Barcelona youngster Marc Guiu, followed by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Tosin Adarabioyo, and Omari Kellyman.

Brazilian youngster Estevao Willian will also be joining from Palmeiras next season.

All of these new talents will be guided by the newly appointed Blues head coach, Enzo Maresca, who succeeded Mauricio Pochettino as Chelsea’s seventh permanent manager in six years and the fourth during Clearlake Capital’s two-year reign, following Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, and Pochettino.

Veiga will join a competitive midfield if the prospective switch goes through, though his versatility could pay dividends as a squad player. As touched upon, he regularly featured in Fabio Celestini’s team last term, as they concluded a disappointing campaign in eighth place.

Veiga missed nine of Basel’s 38 league matches due to a combination of suspension and injury. He mostly played in the defensive midfield position (12 matches) and four times in the heart of the defence. However, considering their current options, he is unlikely to play in that position at Chelsea.

This prospective transfer seems to benefit Maresca’s overarching vision rather than signing talent and then asking the Italian tactician to adapt. This has been the theme of Chelsea’s summer activity.

Dewsbury-Hall, a more recent example, had been identified as a player who fits into Maresca’s system. Chelsea specifically targeted him because their manager knows what he’s getting from their previous experience working together at Leicester. Veiga is also expected to fit into a similar role.

Even though Veiga and Maresca have never collaborated, the multifunctional young Portuguese star will be a good fit for his style. Aside from the much-discussed traditional positions, he can also play as an inverted fullback, pushing up into a defensive midfield role while Chelsea controls possession.