Tag Archives: Chelsea transfer news

3 Big Name Players Who Could Be Set To Leave Chelsea This Summer

Chelsea are having a brilliant season on the pitch, but off the pitch it looks like they may have some issues to deal with come the summer. Here are three players that could reportedly be leaving the club in the summer…

1 – Diego Costa

Costa started the season in brilliant form but since the rumours of a move away started in January, he has struggled to score consistently. There have been rumours he is not happy in London and these appear to have been confirmed in his latest quotes.

Costa revealed after his team beat Bournemouth at the weekend: “I am happy at Chelsea, I am not necessarily saying that I am happy with my life in London. But that is something totally different.”

Costa is a player who plays with emotion and when his head is not in a good place, his performance certainly suffers. At his best and his most focussed, in my opinion, he is one of the best number 9’s in the world. It will be very hard to replace him, but the likes of Lukaku have been linked.

Fans React As Chelsea ‘Agree’ €40million Deal To Sign Quality Midfielder

Chelsea have reportedly agreed a £35million deal to bring 22-year-old Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko to the club in the summer and Chelsea fans are reacting on social media to the news

Bakayoko has been one of many impressive players in the Monaco team this year and according to TuttoMercatoWeb, he is ready to put pen to paper on a five-year deal after Chelsea and Monaco agreed a fee. Arsenal and Manchester United are amongst others clubs to be linked with a move for the midfielder, so Conte may still have work to do if he is to lure Bakayoko to the club.

Chelsea fans must be excited to see Antonio Conte already planning ahead in the transfer market, even with his side cruising to the Premier League title. Bakayoko would provide competition for places in central midfield, with the energetic midfielder likely to partner N’Golo Kante in what would be a fantastic midfield partnership. Bakayoko’s arrival would give Chelsea all sorts of options, with Cesc Fabregas more than likely to move on should this deal be completed.

Here’s some of the reaction on Twitter to the news that a deal for Bakayoko has been agreed. 

However there have been some concerns over the duo of Kante and Bakayoko and their technical limitations…

In my opinion, Bakayoko is a great player and with him in the squad, Chelsea will be an even stronger force than we’ve seen this season. Kante has perhaps been the best player in the team this season, but next season they cannot afford to rely on him as much, and Bakayoko, whilst not being the same in style, has stamina in abundance and would be able to fill the energy void if Kante were to pick up an injury.

Bakayoko is a box-to-box player that has thrived playing alongside the defensive-minded Fabinho at Monaco. Chelsea would be even harder to break down if he were to partner Kante in the heart of midfield. Bakayoko would bring something to the Chelsea midfield that I don’t believe they have currently, someone who can dribble with the ball through the middle and use their physical advantage to transition the ball from defence into attack.

I get the argument that neither Bakayoko more Kante are the most technically gifted, but that should not be an issue with the right players around him. I also think Conte needs to keep Fabregas, or bring in a creative central midfielder as an alternative option when the game requires it.

Report: Chelsea Look Likely To Beat Everton To £25million Midfield Signing

New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has entered the race to sign Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel this summer.

According to reports, Chelsea have joined the race with Premier League rivals Everton to fight for the signature of Witsel. Witsel is likely to cost around £25million, which is more expensive than what N’Golo Kante would cost, with a move for the French midfielder also being considered.

The Blues have been pressing to sign Roma’s Radja Nainggolan but Roma have rebuffed every offer thus far, Chelsea are now set to switch targets and approach Witsel as Conte looks to rebuild Chelsea’s feeble midfield.

Witsel is currently away on international duty with Belgium at Euro 2016 and will play Wales in the Quarter-Final.

Although Witsel is on international duty, The Blues are understood to have discussed a potential move to bring the 27-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

Everton’s hopes of signing Witsel from Zenit St Petersburg are now in jeopardy as Premier League giants Chelsea have shown an interest, Everton have been considered favourites all summer as they look to replace the ageing Gareth Barry.

The Belgium midfielder has just one year remaining on his current contract and it is likely Zenit will sanction a move for him this summer with the club believed to be demanding around £15 million.

Witsel joined Zenit St Petersburg in 2012 and has gone on to play 106 games for the Russian side scoring 15 goals, the experienced midfielder has also represented Belgium 69 times scoring 7 goals.

Witsel has been around Europe for many years and his consistent performances have caught the eye of other teams. His accurate passing and powerful dribbling are some of his strongest attributes whilst aerial duels are also a strength of his. Aerial duels are a crucial asset to play in the Premier League especially in one of the most demanding positions in midfield. Witsel is a clever player and his aggressive controlled type of play means he doesn’t dive into tackles; this can let him down on the other hand as his tackling can be a weakness. An added bonus to have the likes of Witsel is his versatility, in his career he has played as a winger, attacking midfielder, a number 8 and a defensive midfielder. After being tested in many areas Witsel has cemented himself a place in central midfield where he feels most comfortable.

Chelsea will have a fight on their hands to secure Witsel, with the 27-year-old Belgium ace also attracting interest from Italian side Roma and as reported English side Everton.

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Chelsea are also set to beat Crystal Palace and West Ham to the signing of Michy Batshuayi. The striker is a teammate of Witsel for the national team. Chelsea have agreed a €40million fee for the striker who will provide competition for Diego Costa.

Chelsea Shock Premier League Rivals With €40m Deal Set To Be Completed

Crystal Palace had agreed a fee of around €38million with Marseille for their goal scoring hit-man Michy Batshuayi, but Chelsea have now swooped in to agree a €40million fee and contract with the striker. 

Crystal Palace had agreed a fee of €38m (£31.6m) with Marseille for Belgian striker, with Marseille seeming to reject West Ham United’s offer of €35 million (£28.25m) which was made on Friday. Chelsea have now also agreed a fee with the French club, thought to be a little higher.

Batshuayi scored with his first touch in Belgium’s dominating 4-0 victory over Hungary on Sunday which sealed them a place in the quarter finals.

West Ham have been on his case since the start of May and are still hopeful of reaching an agreement with both Marseille and the player, Juventus are also very interested in the 22-year-old and have had a bid of more than €30m also rejected.

Crystal Palace seemed to have stolen a march on interested clubs as Palace’s co-owner Steve Parish has directly made an offer to Marseille’s president, Vincent Labrune. But Antonio Conte was impressed by Batshuayi’s Euro 2016 showing and sanctioned a €40million bid, with the player massively favouring a move to Chelsea, the bigger club.

Batshuayi’s former club Standard Liège are due 35% of any sale through a previous clause, which explains why Marseille have been pushing for such a high fee.

Batshuayi scored 24 goals for Marseille in Ligue 1 last season and has been a real star for them since his move there in 2014.

The Belgium international has already been subject to two bids this summer with the player certain to leave France.

Batshuayi spoke to Sky Sports News HQ last month: “Everybody likes the Premier League. It has a lot of spectacle, a lot of goals and many good players. It is natural that every good player is attracted by that league.”

Marsielle have clearly set their sights on landing €38 million for Batshuayi this summer and may have used Crystal Palace to set their price and force Chelsea to follow up their interest with an official bid, as it seemed the player was never likely to opt for Palace as a realistic destination.

At the tender age of 22 Batshuayi certainly is already a mature clinical presence. He is strong and fast, and he’s quick and deceptive with his feet. He will love the speed of the Premier League. His style of never giving up when chasing down the defence doesn’t go unnoticed, one of his finest traits is his tenacity, his willingness to get up and close with his marker, lure him in and get around him. Being very inexperienced hasn’t played toll on his early career, he has already developed into a very mature and instinctive finisher with fantastic movement in and around the penalty box. His movement is special, he’s able to draw defenders in and beat them at will, this can appear very selfish of Batshuayi because he does try far too much on his own, he can be guilty of not lifting his head and dribble with his head down, a bit similar to the way Alexis Sanchez dribbles.

Juventus are still sniffing around Batshuayi and are in the market for a striker following the sale of Alvaro Morata, Batshuayi was also on Tottenham’s radar as they look to support star striker Harry Kane.

West Ham were another club desperate to land Batshuayi after being priced out of a deal for Alexandre Lacazette, but with Palace and Chelsea having bids accepted they will certainly have to move fast to land their man. Any move is likely to be in vein though with Batshuayi set for a medical with Chelsea as the London club have sent a doctor to France to push through a deal.

Reports: 6 Transfers Chelsea Look Set To Complete This Summer

Although Antonio Conte is currently concentrating on Euro 2016 with Italy, he has already identified transfer targets for the Chelsea board to try and sign, and they are thought to be hard at work. Here are 6 transfers that, according to reports, look likely to be completed by Chelsea this summer.

1 – Antonio Candreva

Chelsea are preparing a €30million bid for Lazio and Italy winger Antonio Candreva, according to reports. Should Candreva arrive at Chelsea, it is likely Pedro will depart. We had a look at how the two compared and whether or not Candreva would be much of an improvement. In terms of goals, it is the Italian who leads the way with an impressive 0.41 scored per 90 minutes. Pedro is also impressive in this department, but not quite so much (0.31). In terms of key passes, the Spaniard typically edges it with 1.77, whilst Candreva manages 1.35. Candreva is a goalscoring winger and that will be key for Chelsea as they have struggled to score goals from midfield in recent seasons. If he could replicate the 10 goals he scored for Lazio last season in England, he’d certainly be a good addition at that price. 

Revealed: Chelsea Could Sign 27-Goal Striker For Just £23million

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.

Gossip: Chelsea To Sign Defender, Swansea Want £10m Midfielder & Leicester Make Two Bids

With the domestic football seasons over, the transfer window has really kicked into gear and now the stories and gossip are flowing. Here at Fresh Football we will bring you the best (and worst) of it. For extended coverage please follow us @FreshFootball on Twitter.

Chelsea in talks to sign River Plate defender Emanuel Mammana (Sport Italia)

According to SportItalia, Mammana’s agent has flown to London to hold talks with Chelsea. The 20-year-old has just made 32 senior appearances for River Plate and made his international debut for Argentina in 2014 – he has not been capped since. Mammana is an aggressive 20-year-old defender that is highly rated across Europe and it seems that a move to the continent is highly likely in the near future. Antonio Conte will not officially take charge of Chelsea until after Euro 2016, but there is an extensive set of scouting in place to try and complete most of the clubs transfer business before the tournament kicks off. Mammana could be a much cheaper alternative to other young defenders that Chelsea are pursuing, these include Everton’s John Stones and PSG’s Marquinhos.

Swansea pondering £10million bid for Joe Allen (Daily Star)

Swansea could be set to re-sign Joe Allen from Liverpool. Liverpool signed the Welshman for £15million just a couple of years ago, and now may be prepared to sell him for less, although they are believed to be asking for at least £10million. Although this story comes from The Star, a not very reputable source – it does appear to have legs. Swansea are looking for reinforcements to their midfield and few come more ready made than Allen, a former Swan. Liverpool seem to be looking to actively offload the central midfielder so its likely a deal shouldn’t be too hard to reach. Allen would be an upgrade on current central midfielder Jack Cork. Allen has managed more key passes (1.31 vs. 0.99), more goals scored (0.24 vs. 0.04) and more tackles won (2.27 vs. 1.97) per 90 minutes than Cork this season. The Welshman’s pass completion rate is also marginally higher (84%).

Leicester ready bids for Lyon’s Ghezzal and N’Zonzi (Mirror)

 

Leicester have identified their replacement for N’Golo Kante, should he leave, says The Mirror. That is former Premier League player Stephen N’Zonzi. N’Zonzi, as most of you will know, it a strong, lanky, dominant central midfielder capable of playing in a deep or central midfield role. Since he moved from Stoke he has become a regular in the Sevilla side and has been fairly impressive for the La Liga outfit. He’s a lot taller than Kante but maybe doesn’t work quite so hard. He likes to stay on his feet and use his tactical nous to play short passes around the opposition. TalkSport also report that Leicester want to sign Lyon midfielder Rachid Ghezzal has 8 goals and 8 assists in 29 Ligue 1 games this season. He is an attacking midfielder that has thrived in the absence of Nabil Fekir. With Fekir returning to full fitness he may no longer be a starter for the club. Sunderland and Everton are also listed with interest in for the impressive 24-year-old Algerian. Ghezzal is a brilliant dribbler of the ball and is well known for his impressive technical attributes that include key passes and through balls. Ghezzal can play on either wing and would most likely compete with Jeffrey Schlupp and Marc Albrighton to play on the left wing. Leicester are also closing in on a deal to sign Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moskow.

Chelsea or Manchester United Could Sign Phenomenal £63million Striker

Manchester United and Chelsea could still be in with a chance of sealing one of the biggest deals of the summer – if not the biggest, with a £63million deal possible. 

Here at Fresh Football we are keeping you up-to-date with the latest transfer rumours throughout the summer. Chelsea and Manchester United are both thought to be in the market for a striker this summer and the player they are keen on is Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann. The French striker has been in brilliant form for Atletico since moving from Real Sociedad – the club are desperate not to let him go, but may be powerless should a team bid his £63million release clause.

Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly considering whether or not to activate his £63million release clause – but Atletico are trying to increase that clause to £79million. But Griezmann is yet to decide on his future, according to his representative.

“Contrary to certain claims announcing that Antoine at Atletico next season will be the case without fail, nothing has been decided or endorsed.” he told press.

Griezmann could perhaps be placed towards that ‘world class’ bracket after his efforts for Atletico have earned them a place in the Champions League final and they once again came close to winning La Liga. Griezmann can play anywhere across the front three but he has mainly played as a striker for Diego Simeone’s men this season, scoring 22 La Liga goals in 38 games. He has an impressive 8 man of the match awards from those 38 games and has also assisted 5 goals.

At 25, Griezmann is still relatively young and is entering the prime years of his career. Griezmann has impressed for France with 26 caps so far and he is also tipped by many to be the star of the show at Euro 2016.

We compared Griezmann to Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. Griezmann scores the most frequently, with 0.65 goals per 90 minutes (Costa 0.45, Rashford 0.53). Rashford is by far the most accurate with his shooting, an impressive 89% shot accuracy, although he hasn’t played many minutes yet – Griezmann (57%) is just ahead of Costa (53%). Despite his short height, Griezmann wins the most aerial duels of the trio (1.57 per 90 mins). He also makes the most key passes (1.39), Costa is second (0.91) and natural goalscorer Rashford is third (0.42). Pass completion rates are very similar across the board – Costa and Griezmann 78% and Rashford 77%.

It is clear that Griezmann is quite different to both Costa and Rashford, but he would add significant quality to both sides and give them a huge chance of winning the league. What must be questioned though is, whether or not the Frenchman would like to play for a club outside of the Champions League, when Atletico compete to win that competition every season. We’ll have to wait and see but there is unlikely to be much movement on this one until after Euro 2016.

West Ham Willing To Sell Star Midfielder To Arsenal, Chelsea or Man City For Just £10million

West Ham are willing to let one of their most valuable assets leave this summer after he refused to sign a new contract. The club are now willing to sell for offers in excess of £10million.

Fresh Football understands that Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are three of the biggest clubs interested in signing 17-year-old Reece Oxford, who is considered one of the best young prospects in England. The central defender / midfielder impressed in this seasons opener against Arsenal, but has since been shifted out of the first team picture and his game time has been limited. Chelsea and Arsenal are unlikely to offer a much clearer route into the team, but both clubs do have a lack of natural central defenders and midfielders at the club, so Oxford could be tempted, especially by the stature of both clubs.

Since the early stages of the season, Oxford has spent most of his time captaining the West Ham United under-21 team. This is some achievement for a 17-year-old, but he is determined to play Premier League football as soon as possible and wants assurances of that in any new deal – it seems the Hammers are not willing to accept those conditions.

The club have now accepted that they need to sell in order to get some value out of the frustrated Oxford. Chelsea and Arsenal are just two clubs that are interested, but there are several Premier League outfits that will now be interested in signing the youngster.

Oxford already stands at 6ft 3′ and is a composed player, capable of playing at a ball-playing defender or in midfield. Despite regularly playing as a centre-back for the youth team, Oxford showed tactical nous to tame Arsenal’s midfield in last seasons Premier League opener and that impressed Arsene Wenger first hand. Wenger is keen to sign first team stars this summer but also rebuild the clubs youth prospects: Oxford, Ben Chilwell, Ryan Sessegnon, Rob Holding and Charlie Taylor are also being considered.

Manchester City appear to be favourites at this stage as Pep Guardiola attempts to nurture his latest batch of homegrown talent. City have a lack of controllers in central midfield and Oxford shows the potential to become a real talented ball player. Oxford wouldn’t start for City, but it would not be surprising to see Guardiola utilise Oxford in the first team more frequently than Slaven Bilic has this season.

Reece Oxford has since replied personally on Twitter suggesting that the latest news was simply rumours – but there is uncertainty over his future with just two years on his current deal remaining and no new contract signed – interest from Arsenal and Manchester City could prove too much to resist.

Reports: 4 Players Chelsea Have Already Made Offers To Sign This Summer

The transfer market is well and truly in full swing, with Chelsea reportedly already in talks to sign up FOUR players. Will these improve their current options?

1 – Radja Nainggolan

There have been numerous reports linking Nainggolan with Chelsea for months and in recent weeks those reports have extended to suggest that a bid has been made. They say the initial bid of £23million has been turned down and now an improved £28million bid is being prepared. The Belgian midfielder is set to star in the European Championships this summer and Antonio Conte is desperate to get a deal done before the competition starts. They will have their work cut out though, as Roma remain adamant that a deal is not going to happen. Nainggolan wins 47% of his duels, more than both Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas. He wins fewer tackles than the current midfield pairing per 90 though (1.64). The Belgian does however manage 1.3 key passes, more than double that of Matic (0.6) and not far behind the creative Fabregas (1.72). Nainggolan’s stats highlight his all-round qualities; he doesn’t really excel in many areas, but seems to be behind one of Matic or Fabregas and ahead of the other in most stats. Nainggolan’s signing would indicate Conte’s ambition to change the formation at Stamford Bridge upon his arrival.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd Striking Target Icardi Reveals Where He’ll Play Next Season

Premier League clubs have been dealt a blow after Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi has insisted he is staying in Italy.

Manchester United and Chelsea have both expressed interest in the 23-year-old Argentinian international who has impressed for Inter this season. He took over the captaincy of the club from Andrea Ranocchia at the beginning of the campaign and has helped Inter to a fourth-placed finish in Serie A.

Icardi has come out and said that he is ‘absolutely’ going nowhere and intends to stay at the San Siro. Icardi also commented on the longevity of fellow countryman and Inter legend Javier Zanetti:

“I have a contract until 2019 and there are a few years to go yet. I will absolutely stay here.”

“Do I want to become the new Javier Zanetti? Steady on, that’s a lot of years.

“I am happy to be here and to be wearing his armband. If I get to remain as many years as he did, then I’ll be even happier.”

Icardi has been a hit at Inter and it is no wonder that clubs from the Premier League are interested in his signature

Here we look at how he compares to the striking options of both United and Chelsea.

Both United and Chelsea have lacked bite in front of goals this season compared to previous campaigns. A forward like Icardi would be a welcome addition to their squads for the coming season. Icardi has netted 16 times in the notoriously tight Serie A league. Those 16 goals come in just 32 league games meaning Icardi has an impressive record of one goal every two games and has scored 33% of Inter’s goals this season.

In comparison to United and Chelsea, Icardi is miles ahead. United’s top scorer is Anthony Martial who has 11 goals and Diego Costa is the top marksman at Stamford Bridge with 12, a below par score compared to the 20 times he found the net last season.

With Icardi in the team, Inter score an average of 1.3 goals per game, United have a slightly worse record than that with 1.2 but Chelsea have a better record at 1.5.

As the fourth top scorer in Serie A this season Icardi will be getting a lot of attention. United have a number of wingers and players in the number 10 role and even Wayne Rooney is operating in a deeper position nowadays. Van Gaal could do with a striker who can be effective in the penalty area and allow the likes of Rooney, Martial and Juan Mata to pull the strings for him.

It will be interesting to see if Icardi’s head can be turned the way of the Premier League especially now Antonio Conte has been appointed Chelsea manager. The Italian will know all about Icardi from his days as Juventus manager. Conte does have a world class striker in Costa already at Chelsea and on his day the Spanish international can be unplayable.

Icardi however does seem settled in Italy and Inter boss Roberto Mancini will hope he stays at the club and mount a title challenge next season with the I Nerazzurri. 

Chelsea Poised To Make £28million Bid After Opening Offer Is Turned Down

Chelsea appear to have had a £23million bid for their prime midfield target turned down. Despite the rejection, it seems that was just an opening bid and they will go back again..

Now, they will consider upping their bid to around £28million to persuade AS Roma to sell. Roma reportedly want £32million for the Belgian midfielder. Chelsea will hope that a bid of around £28million is a fair negotiation and enough to convince president James Pallotta to part with the midfielder. Pallotta remains assertive in his desire not to sell the midfielder, but there is a feeling that if the bid is high enough, he will be sold:

“I have already said that we will not sell Pjanic and Nainggolan,” Pallotta told Gazzetta dello Sport after the 3-0 win against Chievo at the weekend. “I would like to see them continue playing for Roma.”

Antonio Conte has made Nainggolan one of his priorities for the summer as he looks to re-structure what, at times, has been a pretty abysmal midfield this season. Nainggolan is a well-rounded, box-to-box midfielder that would add a lot of energy to the midfield. He is not too similar to any Chelsea player but strikes most similarities to former Blue Ramires, who left for big money to join the Chinese league in January. Like Ramires, Nainggolan plays with a tireless work rate, but perhaps has a bit more strength and is more enthusiastic in duels.

Nainggolan wins 47% of his duels, more than both Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas. He wins fewer tackles than the current midfield pairing per 90 though (1.64). The Belgian does however manage 1.3 key passes, more than double that of Matic (0.6) and not far behind the creative Fabregas (1.72). Nainggolan’s stats highlight his all-round qualities; he doesn’t really excel in many areas, but seems to be behind one of Matic or Fabregas and ahead of the other in most stats. That begs the question as to who he would partner, or is Conte going to deploy a narrow midfield with three central players, in which case he could play alongside both. If Nainggolan played alongside Matic and Fabregas you would have a midfield trio that has pretty much everything, perhaps not a lot of pace but that can be compensated for in other areas of the pitch. I think Nainggolan’s signing, should it happen, would certainly indicate a change in formation from the usual 4-2-3-1 that we have seen Chelsea deploy for the last few seasons.

At this stage Chelsea still need to improve their bid significantly to have a realistic chance of luring the player from Rome. A £28million bid could be the next step, but I’m not even sure that will be enough with Roma keen to keep hold of their current top players heading into next season.

Man City and Chelsea Prepare £40million Bids For In Demand 21-Year-Old

As the season draws to a close the inevitable transfer rumours begin to do the rounds and it looks like Everton and England centre-back John Stones will be a target of top clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. Last summer Stones was hotly tipped to join Chelsea in a big money move but nothing came of it and Everton dug in their heels and resisted any bid Chelsea threw at them.

This summer may well be a different story however as Chelsea again begin to circle over the highly rated player who will only turn 22 years-old in a couple of weeks. According to reports in today’s media, Chelsea are readying a £40million bid for Stones but Everton are expecting at least £50million for one of their most prized assets.

It is a transfer saga which is likely to drag on through the summer right through the European Championships where Stones is likely to feature heavily. Everton bought Stones for £3million in 2013 and has made 85 appearances for The Toffees who stand to make a substantial profit on the player.

Despite having a below-par season with Everton, Stones is still very much a transfer target for Chelsea. Manchester City would also potentially be keen on a player who is currently close by to them.

How does Stones compare to the current crop of defenders at Stamford Bridge and the City of Manchester Stadium.

Chelsea have always had a reputation as one of the best organised defensive teams in the Premier League and in Europe. However this season has been a bit of a disaster for The Blues. The sacking of Jose Mourinho and the appointment of Guus Hiddink and interim manager and derailed their season and with the arrival of new manager Antonio Conte in the summer changes will be made at the club.

Doubts remain over long-term captain John Terry’s future at the club. Terry who turns 36 years old in December was sent off at the weekend as Chelsea lost 3-2 to struggling Sunderland and time seems to be catching up with the aging former England captain. His contract expires at the end of the season and it appears unlikely that Chelsea will offer him a new deal. Despite vast experience in the Chelsea squad there have been noticeable cracks in the once water-tight defence. Gary Cahill has struggled with form and Kurt Zouma was injured against Manchester united in February.

New manager Conte will expect a solid defence as he attempts to bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge after a poor campaign this year. Stones might be a target for Chelsea but the Italian may have other ideas about him and it is unclear whether Chelsea are to end to long career of Terry this summer. An experienced head like Terry could be vital for Conte to adapt to the English game.

Manchester City are a club also with huge defensive issues. They have a world class goalkeeper in Joe Hart and a tough tackling defensive midfield with the likes of Fernando and Fernandinho but it is the centre-back positions which will have incoming manager Pep Guardiola scratching his head with concern.

Captain Vincent Kompany has struggled with injury over the season and announced that he will miss Euro 2016 this summer. When Kompany plays City have leadership and organisation, however when the Belgian is missing then his back-up defenders struggle. Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi arrived for a combined transfer fee total of around £60million and both have struggled with the rigors of the Premier League. Even an experienced player like Martin Demichelis has been found out.

City going after Stones would make perfect sense for the club. Stones is originally from Barnsley and would remain in the north and have the chance to be guided under the management of Guardiola. Chelsea however almost turned his head last summer and will be confident they can fulfill their objective.

 

Conte To Finalise €50million Striker Deal, But Only If Diego Costa Leaves?

Chelsea are looking to sign Gonzalo Higuain this summer according to reports. The Blues will look to add to their squad this summer after a shambolic season which led to Jose Mourinho being sacked. It has been reported Higuain is ready to move to Chelsea but is not prepared to be second choice behind Diego Costa.

After a season to forget, Chelsea will be looking to rebuild from fresh this summer when Antonio Conte takes over in June. According to reports Conte is a huge admirer and has already informed the Blues hierarchy of his desire to land Higuain in the summer.

Chelsea will have to pay £42 million for the Argentine’s signature and it seem’s Higuain is open to moving to London even if it means no Champions League football next season.

 

 

Higuain is not open to the thought of joining Chelsea as a No 2 behind Diego Costa so he will demand to be first choice if any move was to happen this summer.

There is an uncertainty over Costa’s future with a growing fear that he’ll leave the club this summer with his former club interested in re-signing the player, it has been reported he also has an offer from China where he would earn £300,000 a week.

If Costa was to leave this summer Higuain would certainly be a perfect replacement, although he is 28 he is still in his prime years after scoring a total of 217 goals in 425 games in his career. That averages at 130 minutes per goal which for any striker is absolutely unbelievable.

Conte will target a number of big names this summer in bid to get Chelsea back in the Champions League and fighting for titles. It is being reported that he will us his knowledge of Serie A in search of fresh blood with Radja Nainggolan also thought to be a target.

Chelsea are desperate to add more fire power to the squad this summer. Higuain although he has a large price tag would be a class signing for them and without a doubt take them to another level. They are lacking in depth with Strikers and if Costa leaves along with Alexander Pato and Radamel Falcao who are both expected to leave then Chelsea will leave themselves very short upfront with just one recognized striker if Costa does stay.

Chelsea have scored 55 goals in 35 games which they could improve on. Higuain comes first with goals scored after a very high rate of 1.03 per 90 minutes this season. This is very impressive and proves himself to be the prolific goal scorer everyone says he is. Costa has managed just 0.43. A clinical striker must have good shooting accuracy in order to score enough goals. Chelsea will be looking for a world class centre forward this summer and once again Higuain comes first with shooting accuracy 57% with Falcao just behind on 56% and Costa last with 50%. Higuain scores a high 56.63% with successful take on’s with Falcao just behind on 36%. Costa, although has been clinical in the past for Chelsea and one of the best forwards in Europe is once again last on 36%. See more stats here

In summary, Higuain would be a world class signing for Chelsea and in all honesty a major upgrade on their current strikers, especially if you are to make a judgement based on the last 12 months of form. He has proved himself on many levels including at international level where he has played a World Cup final. His goal scoring record is incredible and he would certainly be number 1 if he did move to Chelsea. If Higuain was to become available I am sure Chelsea wouldn’t get him so easy, with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United also looking for a world class striker and have both been interested in the player for many years. Will Costa leave to make way? Time will tell..

Follow us on Twitter @FreshFootball for more transfer news this summer. 

Biggest Summer Yet? Chelsea Set To Invest Upto £180million In These 3 Signings

After a season to forget, Antonio Conte will take over Chelsea this summer. It’s safe to assume it’ll be a busy transfer window for Chelsea as Conte will look to build his own squad. We look at some players Chelsea has been linked with who would be ideal signings for the Blues this summer.

1) John Stones

Reports have suggested as part of the summer overhaul which is very much needed after a somewhat shambolic season they will firstly attempt a move for John Stones. The 21-year-old was reportedly close to joining the Blues form Barnsley in January 2013 but the player himself opted to move to Everton for £3 million. Chelsea tried and failed with three bids last summer for the defender with the highest bid believed to be £37 million, Stones’ current club even rejected a transfer request from the player as he tried to force a move away from the club.

Fresh reports suggest Chelsea will once again move for Stones this summer after reviving their interest in the defender. There is no hiding the fact that Stones has struggled this season, it may be due to the fact he had his heart on a move to Chelsea and his mind is elsewhere. Although he has disappointed this season, Chelsea still retain full hope in the player and trust his ability and will be hopeful of tying him down this summer.

Chelsea have conceded 46 goals in 34 games this season which is simply not good enough, they’ll really hope to reduce that number next season, and with Conte likely to revert to a 3-5-2 formation they’ll look to sign a quick, mobile defender who likes to play good football from the back and that is exactly what Stones is.

Chelsea are desperate to sign a new defender this summer with the likelihood of John Terry leaving, and Cahill certainly underperforming. The England international is only 21-years old and still has bags of potential to fill. Chelsea are trying to secure Stones ahead of other potential suitors Manchester City, Manchester United and Barcelona and if they are able to persuade him with a move away from Goodison park they’ll definitely invest in Stones’s best years ahead of him.

Chelsea Round-Up: Talks Begin To Sign Striker, Oscar To Be Sold & Nainggolan Update

With Chelsea’s season all but over and a new long-term manager announced, the club’s attention is firmly on new additions that could be made over the summer. Antonio Conte is already looking busy. Here’s our Chelsea gossip round-up.

Roma admit Nainggolan can leave, but only for big bucks (Evening Standard)

Chelsea’s well documented interested in Radja Nainggolan could well develop into more than that, with the Serie A club now admitting they could sell the Belgian midfielder. A Roma spokesperson said: “A player could be sold to bring in fresh funds and sign different figures, but it would in any case be a choice. We will make choices within the club with the perspective of coach and players to see how we can reinforce and improve Roma.” It is thought that Roma value Nainggolan at around £35million.

 

Oscar to be sold to raise funds (Times)

Roman Abramovic seems to want to sell a valuable asset this summer and Oscar will reportedly be the man to leave. Chelsea want to build a more sustainable transfer model, say The Times, so they need to sell a player of value. It was originally thought that that may be Eden Hazard, but with the Belgian now looking likely to stay, it seems it will be Brazilian that will leave. Oscar has played well on occasions for Chelsea, but lacked the consistency to tie down a regular starting spot. Because of his quality, there will be many clubs interested in signing him and Chelsea can expect to raise a sizeable amount, around £25million-£35million for him. Oscar has managed just 3 goals and 3 assists in the league this season.

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Chelsea open talks with Fulham for striker Dembele (GFFN)

Dembele has impressed for Fulham and is now wanted by Chelsea, according to reports from France. The 19-year-old striker stands at 6ft and has scored 14 goals in the Championship this season, in addition to 6 assists. He may be a good youthful back up for Diego Costa, with Falcao, Loic Remy and Alexandre Pato expected to leave this summer.

More: 4 Signings Antonio Conte Wants To Make At Chelsea

If Oscar leaves, who should replace him? Have your say by commenting below.

Manchester United Move Ahead of Chelsea In Race To Sign £40m England International

Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Everton defender John Stones this summer, with Chelsea’s interest fading.

The latest reports say that Antonio Conte – who is expected to take charge at Chelsea this summer – would like to bring Leonardo Bonucci to the club ahead of Stones. This leaves the coast clear for Manchester United to swoop in and go all out for the 21-year-old.

We know how much Jose Mourinho likes Stones and if, as expected, he becomes the Manchester United manager this summer, then you would anticipate him to use the big budget to try and once again sign Stones. Struggling for form this season, Everton may be more willing to part with their man, especially if an offer of £40million or more is submitted.

Alongside Chris Smalling, Stones could form a defensive partnership that is already being experimented with at International level.

But with such a high price-tag, would Stones guarantee an improvement on United’s current defensive options? Daley Blind has been utilised in a central role for much of this season due to long-term injuries sustained by Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo. United will almost certainly be looking to sign a defender this summer, but is Stones the answer?

Analysis Focus

Comparing Stones to three players often utilised at centre-back for Manchester United helped put into perspective his defensive performances this season. A clear strength of Stones is his aerial ability, highlighted by his 67.35% success in aerial duels – trumping all three of the United centre half’s. The young Englishman also has an impressively low fouls committed rate (just 0.45 per 90 minutes).

Stones Comparison

But the other three statistics in this comparison highlight Stones’ weaknesses. Just 1.31 tackles and 1.85 interceptions per 90 make for grim reading. If partnered alongside Smalling, there may be a lack of aggressiveness and maturity. This could be developed as both players are still young – but I am not sure that duo is a title-winning defence, yet. What is interesting is the similar stats between Smalling and Stones – could two players with similar attributes work successfully as a pairing? Often you need two different moulds to compliment each other and nullify the threat of any type of striker.

Would you like to see Stones at Manchester United? Have your say by tweeting us at @FreshFootball

Did you see? Arsenal, Real Madrid and Manchester United Target Aubameyang Gives Update On Future

Bayern Munich Midfielder Hints That He May Be Joining Chelsea This Summer

Arturo Vidal has hinted that he may be willing to follow Antonio Conte to Chelsea, after talking up the duo’s relationship.

Conte is widely expected to become the new Chelsea manager at the end of the season and Vidal, who worked under him at Juventus, had nothing but positive things to say about the Italian.

“I have always said if I go to war I would take Conte with me. We will see what happens,” the Chilean midfielder told reporters.

Vidal only joined Bayern Munich in 2015, but he could be on his way out this summer following the departure of Pep Guardiola and implementation of Carlo Ancelotti as head coach for next season. 

Analysis Focus

Chelsea’s new boss will surely be looking to sign a central midfielder this summer, following the depreciating form from Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas. Although Arturo Vidal is a box-to-box midfielder and of a very different ilk to Cesc and Matic, it is only fair to compare him with the players that he would more than likely replace in the starting eleven. We’ve used statistics from this season (sourced from Squawka) to compare five key areas.

Squawka Vidal Cesc Matic

These stats show how the players differ in style if not anything else. They also highlight the industrious manner of Vidal, who has the best assist rate of the trio and also the most tackles won (2.72 per 90 minutes). His ability to attack and defend effectively is unmatched by most midfielders in Europe. The stats also show that Vidal has no real weakness, he is a very all-round midfielder.

Cesc has been found wanting defensively too often when playing in that central midfield role and signing Vidal could allow for the Spaniard to play more permanently in a more advanced position.

Chelsea fans, would you like to see Vidal at your club? Tweet us at @FreshFootball and LIKE us on Facebook to stay up to date and get involved with the conversation!