Chelsea have been handed a boost by the fact that a £23million release clause has been revealed for one of their striking targets.
Antonio Conte is believed to be looking to make another attacking addition to his squad this summer and if he does, he’ll be searching for a prolific striker. Few come more ready made than 27-year-old Algerian forward Islam Slimani.
Sporting manager Jorge Jesus, recently talked to SIC Notícias about the player: “Thirty million for a striker like him, at this moment, is nothing”.
Well it’s still quite a lot of money but we get what you mean Jorge.
“This is the president’s business. The manager has a word and he knows my opinion. I consider it important for him to continue. But I also consider that it’s important to sell a player for 30 million euros because Sporting are not used to it”.
Slimani managed a massive 27 goals and 6 assists for Sporting Lisbon this season and is now attracting interest from several top Premier League clubs. In fact, reports in Portugal say that only 5 or 6 Premier League clubs are NOT interested in Slimani. Chelsea though, remain the most strongly linked.
Slimani has an impressive international record – 23 goals from 43 appearances. Since joining Sporting he has continued to score at a prolific rate, particularly this season. Now at 27, he may see this as the last chance to play in one of Europe’s major league and he will certainly consider a move to the Premier League should an offer come in.
Chelsea had been targeting Gonzalo Higuain, but it seems a lack of Champions League football combined with his asking price is making it extremely unlikely that this one will happen.
Slimani may sell less shirts, but he’d still add quality to the squad and allow Diego Costa to remain the number one striker. Doing this would give the club much better strength in depth in attacking areas than they have had previously, and also give confidence to Costa that he still remains the main man at the club, despite the managerial changes.
Slimani is an intimidating presence, standing at 6ft 2′ he is a strong predator that thrives in and around the box. He isn’t the best technically but he will score goals in the Premier League and that is of course, a vital part of any team looking to win the title. Slimani has only come to prominence in recent years as he was a late bloomer that has achieved his current status thanks to hard work and graft. He is a winner and will work hard for the team at all teams, even if that is with limited techincal skills. It could be said that he possesses a similar skillset to Costa, and maybe that’s why he wouldn’t be the most appropriate attacking addition.