Tag Archives: Chelsea transfers

Could This Bayern Munich Man Be On The Way To Chelsea?

Chelsea could be lining up a Diego Costa replacement from Bayern Munich, according to reports. Chelsea fans, would you be happy with this?

The Express claim an ‘Exclusive’ that Chelsea are targeting an unsettled Thomas Muller to replace Diego Costa should the Spaniard leave the club. Conte stressed that Costa missed the game at the weekend due to a back injury, but widespread reports suggest that this is not, in fact true. Costa appears to have fallen out with the hierarchy at the club and could move on. Chelsea won’t sell him cheap though, with a £80million price tag touted by several sources.

If he was to go, Chelsea would have a large fund to try and find a replacement. But there is a lack of top number 9’s on the market right now. This might mean the club will have to opt for an alternative option. It seems Muller could be just that and perhaps he could be amongst a very small group of top players that could transfer in January.

Muller is reportedly unhappy at the German Champions after failing to hold down a regular spot in the Bayern Munich team under Carlo Ancelotti. He has started just 10 Bundesliga games this season.

“The last game against Leipzig was not optimal for me personally, since I did not play,” Muller told German newspaper Bild.

“There was more space than in the games before. It was a game I could have enjoyed. Of course, I’m not sitting there with a grin on the bench.”

That’s a very public statement of frustration. The reports suggest that Muller would be allowed to leave for a fee in the region of £75million. A huge amount of money, and something similar to what Costa would probably move for.

I can believe that Bayern would be open to selling him for such an amount, especially because he has not been an important player for them this season. They have recently signed the young attacking duo of Renato Sanches and Kingsley Coman, as well as handing a contract extension to Arjen Robben. Muller is no longer an integral part to this Bayern Munich team under Carlo Ancelotti.

But would swapping Costa for Muller improve Chelsea? Personally, I think Costa is perhaps the best number 9 in world football right now, and even with Muller at the club, I think Chelsea would be better off with Costa. He’s more of a natural 9 that is incredibly well suited to the style of play under Conte and I think that at least initially, Muller would struggle to make such a profound impact and difference.

Both players are in the prime of their careers, with Muller one year younger than Costa. They are both natural goalscorers but I feel Costa has that aggression and clinical attitude that makes him a slightly better player than the German, or at least, more suited to the Premier League.

I’m interested to hear about what Chelsea fans would think about swapping Costa for Muller. Although he is not a natural striker, Conte showed that Chelsea worked well with Hazard in the number 9 role at the weekend. Does the 3-4-3 formation require a traditional number 9, or could Muller work there?

The Times Say Chelsea Want To Sign These Two Wing-Backs: But How Good Are They?

Antonio Conte is expecting to be busy this month with Chelsea looking to sign two new wing-backs, despite their excellent 13 matches unbeaten run and impressive defensive record.

The Chelsea manager is looking to improve his top of the table squad with the wing-back position being his prime priority. Since his change of formation to a 3-4-3 Chelsea have been immense in both offensive/defensive phases, impressive wing-back pair Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses has been pivotal to their recent success but may find their position up for grabs once the window slams shut.

West Ham United star Michail Antonio and Jonas Hector are on Conte’s wish list this month according to The Times, who say two wing-backs are the main targets for Chelsea this month.

Slaven Bilic will be reluctant to sell his star man this winter as he has been the bright spark in a dark season for the Hammers. The 26-year-old has thus far managed eight goals in 27 games.

The former Nottingham Forest man cost West Ham just £7 million in 2015 but Bilic will know they could demand more than triple if they were to part ways this winter.

Conte as reportedly eyeing Hector before opting for former Fiorentina man Alonso in the summer, with him going on to cement himself in the starting XI and making a positive impression in the first half of the season. But there remain doubts over Alonso’s ability in the long run and also the depth in his position.

Chelsea are currently six points clear at the top of the Premier League table and are in formidable form despite their hiccup at White Hart Lane, the signing of Antonio/Hector will give the Blues boss many options on the wing-back/defensive positions and will help to continue their momemtum until the end of the season.

Both players have had experience playing the wing-back role, and have both been thoroughly impressive thus far this season. Germany man Hector has managed to win 1.62 tackles per 90 minutes this season which puts him ahead of Hammers man Antonio who has managed just 1.05, which in itself is still impressive.

Occupying the role Conte will want either to adapt too will see both players utilising their pace to get past their man, whether that’s to spring counter attacks or get out of defensive positions. Hector again comes out on top of Antonio, managing 69.23% successful take ons whilst Antonio trails on 57.65%, which again is impressive and over the half way mark.

Being a German, and learning his trade within his native country it was almost inevitable Hector would be impressive in possession and this shows with 85% pass completion, again leading Antonio on 72%.

But, something the West Ham man does have over Hector is his eye for goal, he has a fair few goals thus far this season managing to find the net 0.44 times per 90 minutes compared to Cologne man Hector, managing zero. This will again have caught the eye of Conte who knows he can add goals to his game which is a massive plus for any manager. It’s possible that Antonio could be deployed in the most advanced right wing berth of the 3-4-3 formation.

Not just a goal scorer, but a creator too, Antonio has managed to create 0.94 chances per 90 with the German ahead of him on 1.44, which shows he’s certainly more of a creator than a goalscorer.

Antonio would be an immense signing for Chelsea, versatile, direct & good in 1v1 situations in both phase whilst Hector also possessing similar abilities.

Conte seems set on signing new full-backs this winter and has already recalled the impressive Nathan Ake to strengthen the squad with the title race in full flow. Both clubs will be reluctant to sell their stars this transfer window, but when Chelsea come calling, and having the offer of having the chance to win the Premier League title, I think it will be hard for both players to say no.

Report: Conte Not Happy With Summer Signing, Eyeing £20m January Replacement

It might only be October, but there’s already talk of what Conte is planning for the January transfer window at Chelsea.

When Chelsea opted to sign Marcus Alonso in the summer for so much money, many question marks were raised by fans. The concern was only multiplied by the fact that Alonso had already been in England and not really excelled at all. Yes, during his time at Fiorentina he improved, but whether he warranted his price-tag is another matter.

One of the reasons Chelsea fans were perhaps puzzled by the signing of Alonso, was because Swiss left back Ricardo Rodriguez was seemingly available for less money. Whilst the Wolfsburg defender didn’t have the best of seasons last year, he is still widely considered as one of the best left backs in Europe, and certainly almost every fan and pundit would say that he is a superior player to Alonso. Transfer Market Web, an Italian source cited in the Daily Star are now suggesting that Conte is not satisfied with summer signing Alonso and that he will look to bring in Rodriguez in January to replace him. Would this be a good idea?

Let’s take a look at the stats, how do the two defenders compare? I’ve decided to look at both players statistics from last season as there is more data to compare – however it is worth noting that both were not playing in the Premier League, which is a very different environment. 

Looking at the stats, it’s a pretty close match in every department (all stats per 90 minutes). Alonso edges Interceptions (2.03 vs. 1.92), Tackles won (1.46 vs. 1.44) and Chances Created (1.65 vs. 1.57) – whilst Rodriguez comes out on top in aerial duels won (2 vs. 1.88) and is the clear winner in total forward passes per 90, averaging 33.61 to Alonso’s 23.17.

There is also the fact that Rodriguez is very strong in attacking areas traditionally, apart from last season he is known for scoring and assisting goals. With Conte looking at perhaps deploying 352 formation, or 343, Rodriguez could be the ideal candidate to play in the wide left role. I think this would help us to see the very best of him, because if there is a criticism of his that I have found whilst watching him in action for club and country, it is that perhaps he lacks the pace and offensive work rate to be a defensively-sound left back, he looks more naturally wingback. A 3 at the back formation would give that security behind him and allow him more freedom to excel with his attacking play.

Rodriguez is likely to cost in the region of £20million should he leave, and it is thought that the player is not currently happy at the German club, so a move is possible if Chelsea really want him.

No. 6 – Chelsea’s €40million Signing Named 6th Best Signing Of The Summer

We’ve been asking the fans who they think have been the best signings of the summer. This is your list and this, is your number 6. 

In a market with little to no attacking talent available, Chelsea may just have found a gem in the young Michy Batshuayi. At £33million and considering his age, Michy could turn out to be a great coup from the London club, and the fans certainly agree. 

Batshuayi has made an instant impact at Chelsea. When speaking to Ligue 1 experts before his arrival I got the impression that he was a player with immense potential, but as it the case with so many young players in Europe, he was currently a bit erratic, lost and yet to really find himself as a player. Although he hasn’t appeared too ‘lost’ during his time at Chelsea, I expect when the gloss of his move to London wears off, he’ll have to dig in and work hard again to improve. I think he can though, and I see no reason he cannot become an important part of Chelsea’s team.

With Cristian Benteke costing more than him and aged 25, if Batshuayi can realise his potential he’ll be great value at £33million. The football market has gone crazy recently, and aged 22, Batshuayi has about 10 years left in him. That’s not to say that he will be at Chelsea for 10 years, but if he doesn’t quite work out in the long term at Stamford Bridge, you’d expect them to easily be able to recoup most of what they paid for him.

There may have been a sense of panic when Chelsea signed Marcos Alonso and David Luiz in the final days of the transfer window. It had been widely reported that Conte had been chasing alternative targets in that position and although they had also been linked with the likes of Alvaro Morata in attack, the signing of Michy seemed more orchestrated and was tied up rather early in the window.

Batshuayi is unlikely to make a huge impact this season, but he’s not the main man at Chelsea, he will be the back up to Diego Costa at first and he certainly looks to be an improvement on last seasons attacking alternative, Loic Remy. Although playing in Ligue 1, a weaker environment, Batshuayi impressed statistically last season, scoring 0.52 goals per 90 mins. He also managed an impressive 1.2 take ons, 0.86 aerial duels and 0.55 key passes per 90, showing he is more than just a finisher.

He certainly has a lot still to learn but the Belgian international appears to have the right mindset to develop his potential in the right way. As an Arsenal fan I would’ve liked to see us do more to challenge Chelsea to the signing of him.

Diego Costa has always had injury problems and unlike previous seasons, Chelsea now have a striker that is capable of stepping up in the Spaniard’s absence. Batshuayi’s time in the spotlight will come and even if it is not this season, with the right management, he could flourish into a player worth a lot more than the £33million Chelsea paid for him.

Expert Says Chelsea Have Just Made A Costly Mistake In Transfer Market

Uh oh. Have Chelsea just made a big mistake in the transfer market? After failing with moves for Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli, Antonio Conte decided to turn to David Luiz on deadline day in a bid to add a top class defender to the club.

But French football expert Laurens Julien doesn’t feel Luiz is top class and has suggested that “PSG can’t believe their luck” after they agreed a deal with Chelsea to sell David Luiz for £38million adding “He (Luiz) is a liability for PSG more than anything else.”

Luiz has always struggled to convince many that he is a top level defender, and it seems Laurens Julien is one of those that feels he is vastly overrated: “He hasn’t improved since leaving Chelsea. He’s probably come back a worse player.”

“I’ve watched him pretty much every weekend since he joined PSG, I can hardly remember four games when he was good… he’s had some shockers.’

That’s not what Chelsea fans will have wanted to hear. I’ve seen lots of Chelsea fans trying to convince themselves that Luiz has completely changed and improved as a player during his time in Paris – but according to Laurens, who says he has watched Luiz every week, that is not the case. Worryingly he even suggests that the Brazilian has regressed during his time in France.

Luiz is very tidy in possession, and completed 92% of his passes last season. He also averaged a huge 62.38 forward passes per 90, that is more than Terry and Cahill managed combined. Chelsea’s reported primary target Koulibaly is also a very forward-thinking defender, on that front Luiz could be a suitable alternative. Another strength for Luiz is his interceptions, he made 2.58 per 90, Cahill (1.66) and Terry (1.72) both managed less.

There’s no denying that Luiz is a bit of a workhorse defender he gets about the pitch and that is why another strength for Luiz is his interceptions, he made 2.58 per 90 last season, Cahill (1.66) and Terry (1.72) both managed less.

But these stats do fit Laurens Julien’s narrative. Luiz makes a lot of defensive errors; despite only playing 25 Ligue 1 games, Luiz made 4 defensive errors, Cahill and Terry combined only made 3.

Luiz also struggles in other key defensive areas. For example he only made 0.34 blocks per 90 last season, and won a miserable 1.16 aerial duels. His weakness in the air is particularly worrying and could see him exposed in the physical Premier League. Too often Luiz has been the victim of an embarrassment from top level strikers and he will need to try and improve his focus this season to prevent more of that in a Premier League now packed with attacking talent.

Luiz has always had a tendency to move out of position and attack when perhaps he shouldn’t. You would expect Conte to try and drill more discipline into the Brazilian. Aged 29, perhaps Luiz is ready to develop his style of play into a more reserved, well-positioned defender, but personally I’m not so sure. Conte has a big job on his hands to make £38million appear good value for Luiz.

Reports: 5 Big Deadline Day Transfers Chelsea Could Be Set To Complete

Chelsea could still be set to do some serious business this summer, despite just one day being left. We take a look at 5 potential signings Chelsea could make on deadline day, according to the latest reports.

1 – David Luiz

We told you all about the Luiz to Chelsea story yesterday. According to Sky Sports, Luiz has been subject of a £30million+ bid from Chelsea and the club are continuing negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain over the potential signing of the 29-year-old defender. Resigning Luiz would be a bit of an odd move, especially considering his questionable form at PSG last season.  Despite only playing 25 Ligue 1 games, Luiz made 4 defensive errors last season, Cahill and Terry combined only made 3. Luiz also struggles in other key defensive areas. For example he only made 0.34 blocks per 90 last season, and won a miserable 1.16 aerial duels. His weakness in the air is particularly worrying and could see him exposed in the physical Premier League. If he joins Chelsea fans will hope that Conte can drive the errors out of the Brazilian and turn him into a disciplined defender.

Report: Chelsea Make Sensational €37.5m Bid, Hope To Complete Signing Tomorrow

If this one happened it may be the biggest shock of the transfer window. Chelsea have been desperately trying to sign a defender this summer, and they may finally get one on the last day of the window, and it is a familiar face … 

David Luiz, a huge character and a questionable defender, looks like he could return to Stamford Bridge on deadline day. Chelsea have apparently made a £30million bid according to Sky Sports and are currently locked in negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain over a deal for the Brazilian. Antonio Conte has clearly been keen on adding a new central defender to the clubs ranks this summer but after being priced out of moves for Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli, Luiz could be an alternative.

29-year-old Luiz knows the club well, he spent 3 years at the club and made 81 appearances. He will be remembered for some crazy defending as well as some spectacular goals and hilarious off the pitch moments. Chelsea fans could quite rightly be dubious about spending such a large amount of money on a defender that they know first hand, is not the very best at doing what he needs to do, defend.

But Luiz is a big personality and developed into somewhat of a fans favourite during his short spell at the club. Whether or not the fans would be as forgiving if Chelsea are not as successful, remains to be seen.

So Luiz has been in Paris for two years, how has he fared? We had a look at how he statistically compared last season to Chelsea’s current central defenders.

First, lets start with the Brazilian’s strengths. He is very tidy in possession, completing 92% of his passes last season. He also averaged a huge 62.38 passes per 90, that is more than Terry and Cahill managed combined. Koulibaly is also a very forward-thinking defender and considering he appeared to be Conte’s first choice, Luiz could be a suitable alternative. Another strength for Luiz is his interceptions, he made 2.58 per 90, Cahill (1.66) and Terry (1.72) both managed less.

A big stereotype is that Luiz makes a lot of defensive errors, but was this the case last season? Yep. Despite only playing 25 Ligue 1 games, Luiz made 4 defensive errors, Cahill and Terry combined only made 3.

Luiz also struggles in other key defensive areas. For example he only made 0.34 blocks per 90 last season, and won a miserable 1.16 aerial duels. His weakness in the air is particularly worrying and could see him exposed in the physical Premier League.

With John Terry’s time at the club nearly over and Gary Cahill continuing questionable form, Luiz may be a wise addition. His unpredictability and inconsistency in defence is something that would need to change in order for him to be worth the £30million, in my opinion. At his best and when he is focussed I think he is actually a decent defender that can also be good moving forward in midfield.

Luiz is 29 and has 55 international caps for Brazil, he is a pretty experienced defender and perhaps he has developed his defending and maturity since the last time we saw him in the Premier League. Chelsea fans will hope this is the case should Luiz rejoin, whilst also hoping that Conte can bring the best out of the defender.

Exlcusive: Journalist Says €60m Defender Is Chelsea’s Transfer ‘Priority’

Chelsea could yet do some serious business in the market this summer, and after talking to a London-based journalist, we have an idea of what that business could be.

We spoke exclusively with John Cross, a journalist from The Mirror and he was optimistic about the chances of Chelsea adding an elite level central defender before the window closed.

Asked specifically on Kalidou Koulibaly, Cross was sure that the Napoli defender was the clubs current top priority: “I think he’s their top priority and are trying so it could happen.”

The sticking point in money – Koulibaly seems to be pushing for a move away from the club after a very public fallout earlier in the summer. Napoli do not need money though, after selling Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus and that has put Chelsea in a very sticky situation. It is thought that the Italian club are asking for in excess of £50million to even consider the sale of their defender. Although he was quality last season, its hard to see and perhaps crazy for Chelsea to go and spend over £50million on a player who has only performed at the highest level for one season, especially as he is only 25.

Don’t get me wrong, in my opinion I think Koulibaly is well worth his £40million valuation, but at over £50million it starts to get a bit ridiculous and incredibly risky.

More recently Chelsea appear to have turned their attentions to AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli as an alternative – but Milan are insistent that they will not let the 21-year-old leave, recently rejecting a £34million bid, according to Sky Sports. With Milan equally as defiant as Napoli that their defender is not for sale at any price, the pressure is growing on the club and Antonio Conte to sign a new top level defender before the window shuts next week. It’s not an easy task in this market, but Conte and Chelsea may have to return to their ‘priority’ in Koulibaly and just stump up the asking price in order to improve their squad and in turn, chances of success this season.

Chelsea currently have John Terry, Gary Cahill and the returning Kurt Zouma as defensive options, but the fans are urging Conte to strengthen this area further. The fans frustration wouldn’t have been helped by the fact that London rivals Arsenal are about to sign a new defender in the form of Skhodoran Mustafi. His price of £35million may appear high, but with the likes of Koulibaly demanding fees in excess of £50million, perhaps Chelsea should have been in for him.

We also asked Cross who he felt were the favourites for the title this season: “Man United.”

Big, stellar deals which have improved the squad.” said Cross. Perhaps a big investment in a new defender would help Chelsea’s chances?

Analysis: Koeman Provides Shock Update On £65m Transfer, How It’ll Effect Everton

When Ronald Koeman joined from Southampton this summer he was probably almost resigned to the fact that both John Stones and Romelu Lukaku would leave the club.

Whilst Stones’ move did go through, Chelsea appear to have been priced out of a move for Lukaku, who is now willing to stay at Everton according to Koeman. He had been widely linked with a £65million move to Chelsea.

Koeman wrote in his column in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “Ten days before the transfer deadline he (Lukaku) came into the manager’s office and said he was no longer leaving and had decided to stay at Everton.

“His decision is the same value as a big money transfer. He is not only a good player but a fine person. He lives his football in the fashion that you would want a top footballer to.

“It is great to work with him and I think he had seen that we want to engineer improvement at every corner. To develop him into a really top player is the challenge before me.”

That is a boost to Everton, and Koeman can now plan for the future with the young Belgian striker spearheading the attack. With Lukaku’s future uncertain the club Koeman opted to put play Gerard Deulofeu as a striker, this didn’t really work and the Dutchman will now be pleased to have Lukaku back and focussed on Everton.

Lukaku is just 23 years of age, still giving him plenty of time to improve as a footballer. Although he has some obvious weaknesses, for example his lack of a first touch, Lukaku has the ability to take Everton to European football. If Koeman can harness the raw ability of Lukaku and put the right players arond him, Everton can really take a step up this season.

Traditionally Koeman likes to have a target up top, it was Graziano Pelle at Southampton. Lukaku has similar physical attributes, capable of winning aerial duels as a habit and using his strength to hold off defenders. Something Lukaku has that Pelle doesn’t is pace, and the ability to beat a man. I wanted to take a closer look at this.

Although statistically Pelle has the edge over Lukaku in terms of being successful in aerial duels, defences often found it easy to defend against Pelle (with a high line) due to the Italian’s lack of pace. This meant Koeman would have to sacrifice a midfielder to play a faster striker alongside Pelle, Shane Long for example. Lukaku’s speed and ability to beat a man gives Koeman a completely different animal and allows the Dutchman to play with just one striker, his favoured formation. Lukaku made 41 successful take ons last season compared to Pelle’s 7.

He knows how well Deulofeu and Lukaku can combine, the important thing for Koeman will be to ensure the duo deliver consistently. Under Koeman’s guidance Lukaku needs to develop a ruthless streak in front of goal and increase his goalscorers instinct.

Although £65million, the amount Everton reportedly wanted for Lukaku, is somewhat of an over valuation, Lukaku can become worth that amount if he perfect his game. He’s never going to have the best first touch but something he can improve is his off the ball movement. His finishing is brilliant and if he can get into positions where he can score more often then I would expect his goal tally to keep rising throughout his career. At the moment too often he is caught labouring around the pitch, not putting his body on the line to get into the box and on to the end of all crosses. I think with Deulofeu/Lennon on the right, Lukaku would benefit from a less direct winger on the left.

I think with Deulofeu/Lennon on the right, Lukaku would benefit from a less direct winger on the left. This is because Deulofeu relies on fast counter attacks to break down defences and get the ball into the box. Kevin Mirallas has a similar approach, I think Lukaku would benefit from a creative midfielder more capable of breaking down crowded defences – similar to what Dusan Tadic did for Koeman’s Southampton.

Now Everton have the boost of Lukaku wanting to stay at the club, they need to make the most of it. He could change his mind again next summer.

Analysis: How £80million Double Defensive Signing Could Make Conte’s Chelsea Champions

Chelsea have made a couple of really good additions this summer in N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi, but there’s certainly more work to do if they are to win the league this season.

Recent reports have linked the club with the signing of two defenders. The first, Kalidou Koulibaly, depending on what report you may or may not believe, he would cost between £50million-£60million. His club Napoli do not need cash after Juventus activated Gonzalo Higuain’s £78million release clause. Napoli do not want to lose Koulibaly and if they do, it will be for a lot of money. The club have also been linked with a £22million move for Switzerland and Wolfsburg full-back Ricardo Rodriguez.

If the signings of Rodriguez and Koulibaly came off, Conte’s tactical options would be far greater. It would enable the Italian to play with his favoured 3-5-2 formation. Why can’t they do it now you ask? Well in Azpilicueta they only have one attacking full back, Ivanovic would not be capable of playing in such an advanced role due to the athleticism required. In Rodriguez Conte would acquire a left back that loves to attack and can do a lot of damage with his left foot. This would also enable Axpilicueta to play on the right-hand side.

Chelsea have Zouma, Cahill and Terry but in Koulibaly they would acquire a central defender that can link the defence and midfield seamlessly. He loves to carry the ball forward and averaged an incredible 62.86 forward passes per 90 last season, this compared to Terry’s 33.20 and Cahill’s 26.72 highlights the different dimension Koulibaly would add to the defence. When you play with three central defenders you cannot afford to have three players that can provide nothing going forward. Koulibaly’s pace and strength make him the all round perfect defender for a system like this and for me, it is no surprise to see him valued in excess of £50million. If John Stones is valued just shy of that amount, the Koulibaly certainly warrants such a mighty valuation. He may take time to settle into English football but if he can replicate the form he managed last season for Napoli, Chelsea could gain a central defender that will soon be considered amongst the very best, and he is still young at just 25.

When comparing other statistics between the three defenders you can see Koulibaly’s strengths too, he won 2.15 tackles per 90 last season, this was substantially more than Terry (0.77) and Cahill (0.83). He’s not quite as strong as Cahill (3.08) in the air, but he did win a respectable 2.52 aerial duels per 90 last season, which was marginally more than Terry (2.17).

It is worth noting that these signings would not force Conte into a change of formation. Koulibaly could simply play alongside one of Zouma, Cahill and Terry and form a very strong partnership. Rodriguez could slot in at left back and Azpilicueta then on the right. Rodriguez is an attacking left back though so if Conte sticks with the 4-2-3-1 we saw against West Ham then he would likely demand more security from Hazard to be defensively secure, as we know Conte loves to be.

Of course these two signings would require significant investment and there is no way you can be sure that one or either of the players will be joining Chelsea. Conte has publicly spoken of how prices are through the roof this summer and without significant backing from the chairman, the club will not be able to make these additions. But as the club look to enter a new generation, they need to ensure that Conte has the finances to make the changes he deems necessary to lift the squad to the next level. In Koulibaly and Rodriguez, I think Chelsea would be much more prepared to go full Conte.

You could quite rightfully question whether investing such a large amount into two defenders would be a good idea – but I think Chelsea need it. Since Baba Rahman left on loan, Chelsea only have two full backs and one of them is the ?? Year old Ivanovic. A left back is essential in my eyes and at around £22million, Rodriguez is good value.

In central defence, Terry isn’t likely to be around much longer and injury problems continue to disturb Zouma’s career. We haven’t seen the best of Cahill in the last 18 months either, so the club would certainly benefit from adding an elite defender like Koulibaly.

With so much attacking talent at the club with the likes of Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, Michy Batshuayi etc. if Chelsea could add a defensive duo of such quality, then it would be hard to look past them as title favourites.

Not Lukaku: Chelsea Could Seal £60million Transfer This Month

Chelsea could be still involved in some serious business before the window closes this month.

With all the speculation surrounding a move for Romelu Lukaku, there could be transfers that fund that move. According to reports in Italy, Chelsea have already rejected a £51million bid from Napoli for Diego Costa. The rumour is that Costa could leave the club to return to former club Atletico Madrid, but Napoli are now also armed with a war chest of money following the £76million sale of Higuain to arch rivals Juventus.

It looked recently as if Costa would remain with Chelsea but the interest from Napoli may have changed everything. Aged 27, Chelsea will be desperate not to lose a striker of that calibre for the peak years of his career.

Costa was one of the main reasons Chelsea won the league in the 2014/15 season and despite his poor form last campaign, Chelsea fans will be keen to keep hold of the Brazilian.

Because of the money Napoli have, the club are armed with some serious power in the market and they could financially blow Atletico out of the water. There have been rumours that Arsenal are willing to pay Griezmann’s £70million release clause, a transfer that could send all sorts of dominos flying.

Time will tell..

Analysis: How Alvaro Morata Could Fit In At Chelsea

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has refused to give up hope in their pursuit for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, despite reportedly having bids rejected previously. 

Madrid signed the Spanish international this summer after triggering his buyback clause in his contract. Morata finalised a move to Spain for just £23million and it has been widely reported they want to immediately sell their new man for a hefty profit.

 

With Diego Costa possibly moving back to Atletico Madrid, Chelsea are looking to sign a new striker. Morata remains first choice but Belgian international Romelu Lukaku who left the Blues in 2014 has been seen as a viable back-up option if they fail to agree terms with Madrid.

Chelsea have already signed one striker this summer after securing the services of Michy Batshuayi for a fee of £33million. Although they still have Spanish international Costa in their ranks, they appear to be in the market for one more prolific striker ahead of the new season, as uncertainty remains over the future of Costa.

Morata has been on the lips of everyone this summer, he showcased his ability for Juventus last season and one performance that really stood out was his individual performance against Bayern Munich last season at the Allianz arena, there are few players as gifted as Morata and he certainly showcased it that day. Morata often impresses on big European nights and he typified the Juventus courage in their loss to Bayern. Morata single handily demolished the Bayern back line with delightful skills and high pressure, he made their defence surrender into making mistakes, which led to the forward bagging a deserved assist.

Another big occasion which Morata thrived off was in the Coppa Italia final, Morata came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 110th minute to win 1–0 against AC Milan.

A clear weakness of the 23-year-old is his killer instinct in front of goal, scoring just 15 goals in two seasons in Italy, it will have come as no surprise if many clubs didn’t want him because of that record. But, he still oozes brilliance and the goal-scoring will surely follow as he matures. He is still very young and will no doubt flourish and realise his potential as he moves into his peak years. Standing at 6ft 2′, he uses his power and pace to get at defenders and uses his trickery to dazzle defences.

Morata is well suited to many roles he is told to play in, a well-rounded forward, Morata is of course best in his natural role as a main striker, but he has superb traits in linking up play between the lines and can often drift out wide to collect the ball if needs be.

Morata has many aspects to his game, he is very good in the air and can hold up the ball with neat close control, quick feet and excellent movement sees Morata shine on the pitch, with a clinical presence hopefully to follow soon. The Chelsea and Arsenal target stood out for his energy and work-rate on the pitch, and although I have talked a lot about his lack of killer instinct, he has scored several crucial goals due to his positional brilliance.

How different is he to Diego Costa?

Diego Costa has a real eye for goal and has impressed in his short time in England thus far, his finishing stands out over Morata, managing 36 goals in 78 appearances for Chelsea since arriving from Atletico. The Blues forward has a real tendency to make a key pass and this is seen as a real strength of Costa’s play. He has an obvious weakness though and that is his offside awareness which could certainly annoy Conte, with the Spaniard’s attitude deemed lazy at times.

His stature and physical style of play which saw him settle very well in England. His style of play suits the Premier League down to the ground. The 27-year-old has strong dribbling abilities which has helped him out massively in his career, as he can also create chances for himself and not rely on his team-mates. Although he doesn’t possess dazzling skills, Costa uses his strength to glide past defenders, and when he is in form, there are few defenders in Europe that are capable of stopping him.

The real question most Chelsea fans will be thinking is can Costa play with his Spanish compatriot Morata, or will a move to Stamford Bridge open up the exit door for Costa? If the duo combine well they’d stand a great chance of winning the league. Here are the latest Premier League odds.

Both players possess unique abilities in their game and are near enough different on every level. Unlike Morata, Costa is a mean striker with a killer instinct in and around the 18-yard box. Morata drops deep and plays as number 10 at times as he is most comfortable when collecting the ball, whilst Costa often sticks between the centre-backs and looks to finish off counter attacks. Both bring different traits to their game and it would be welcomed at Chelsea as they would benefit from playing together, with Morata dropping off and feeding Costa. But, contrary to reports suggesting Costa will stay with the arrival of Morata I cannot personally see it happening.

Chelsea have just signed a very young exciting striker in Batshuayi who scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season. At the tender age of just 22 Batshuayi is already a mature clinical presence. He is strong and fast, similar to Morata and he’s quick and deceptive with his feet. He will love the skill and speed of the Premier League.

He has already developed into a very mature and instinctive finisher with fantastic movement in and around the penalty box – I don’t think he will be happy on the bench.

Chelsea will find it hard to fit all three players into the squad and keep each of them happy, Conte is even looking internally with Ruben Loftus-Cheek allegedly learning to play as a striker, he has previously played predominantly in central midfield.

The arrival of Morata could see his Spanish teammate depart London, Costa has come under strong criticism of late due to his “foul” play and seemed very unhappy last season. Atletico are desperate to land their former star and a return to Vicente Calderón Stadium could certainly be on the cards this summer after just two years away.

Perhaps Batshuayi and Morata could be the new strike partnership in a 3-5-2 formation for Conte?

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. 

Report: Chelsea Set To Bid €70m To Secure Incredible Serie A Double Signing

Chelsea are thought to be readying a €70million double bid for a Serie A duo as they look to make their first serious signing under new manager Antonio Conte.

The new Chelsea boss is currently in charge of an Italy side that are performing above expectations at Euro 2016 and he is keen to take two Italians with him to London, according to reports.

The two players he wants to sign are allegedly Leonardo Bonucci and Antonio Candreva. They say Chelsea have proposed a €40million bid for Juventus defender Bonucci and a €30million bid for Lazio’s Candreva.

Italian media outlet Football Italia cite The Sun as their source, so the reputability of this story can and will rightly be called into question. There is no doubt that Conte rates the pair highly as they regularly feature in his starting eleven.

29-year-old Bonucci is no doubt one of the best central defenders in Europe and he is also wanted by Manchester United.

Bonucci has been a rock in Juventus’ success and has been at the heart of the team for many seasons. Bonucci has been with the club since 2010 after his arrival from Bari, he has gone on to play 198 games for the club scoring 12 goals. Bonucci has also represented Italy 59 times scoring three goals. He appears to be very loyal to Juventus so it would be a surprise if he were to jump ship at this stage in his career.

Candreva is another experienced presence, aged 29 the Italian is primarily a right winger, although he is a very versatile midfielder. His goalscoring ability certainly makes him an attractive option for Conte with his 10 goals and 3 assists in 30 Serie A game standing out.

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. Pedro is also quite far ahead in terms of successful take ons, he scores 2.3 here, in contrast to Candreva’s 1.4. Pedro is marginally more refined in terms of pass completion too, with 84% of his passes meeting his intended target, Candreva manages 81%.

There doesn’t appear to be much of a difference in quality between the two players but with Pedro seemingly homesick and Conte a big fan of Candreva’s this move could certainly happen.

Whilst a move for Bonucci still seems over-ambitious, despite Conte’s arrival, a deal for Candreva is much more likely to happen this summer. Stay tuned to Fresh Football for all of the deals as they happen.

Report: Man Utd and Chelsea Could Agree On Massive Transfer Deal

New Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho looks set to raid his former club Chelsea in bid to sign Mourinho’s former midfield powerhouse Nemanja Matic and is willing to use a player as a make-weight to make the deal happen.

Mourinho has drawn up a list of players he wants to bring to Manchester ahead of the 2016-17 season and there is no surprise Matic is top of that list as Mourinho looks set to add strength to United’s depleted midfield.

The player Mourinho is willing to use in an exchange deal is reportedly Matteo Darmian. Darmian, who has struggled at United since his arrival from Torino in 2015 looks set to have his premature career with United cut short and used as bait to secure Mourinho’s main midfield target.

Matic was part of Mourinho’s dominant title success for Chelsea when they won the league in 2015, we recently covered that Mourinho wants a reunion with him this summer and a deal has taken a slight twist.

Although Matic was not as influential this season he still showed dominating performances in patches. Matic managed to win 2.34 tackles per 90 this season which is still very impressive for a defensive midfielder. Standing over 6ft he has been a force in the air winning 1.34 aerial duels. Although Matic hasn’t managed as many interceptions as another potential United target, Kante, he still manages to get a very high score of 2.49.

The 27-year-old midfielder who has 28 caps for Serbia will certainly be in demand if he does become available this summer, but it is likely he would like to reunite with former manager Mourinho at Manchester United.

Antonio Conte could be persuaded in a deal that contains Darmian, a player he knows well and has been his first choice right back during his reign with Italy.

Conte likes the idea of bringing Darmian to Stamford Bridge, a player that is used to the formation and demands of the manager. Mourinho has identified Darmian as the key piece in negotiations due to his close affiliation with new Chelsea boss Conte.

Matic has had an under-performing season with the Blues and fell out of favour with former manager Guus Hiddink playing second fiddle to John Obi Mikel.

Matic will certainly like the idea of linking up with Mourinho at United, the manager who showed much faith in the midfielder and arguably got his best football from him.

Chelsea will, of course be reluctant to sell to a direct rival, but a swap deal that could see a Conte / Darmian reunion may be too hard to turn down for the new Blues manager.

Report: Arsenal and Chelsea Consider €25million Bids For ‘New Mahrez’

According to the Guardian Chelsea and Arsenal are set to battle it out for the signature of Sofiane Boufal from Lille but will face stiff competition from Spanish sides Barcelona and Atlético Madrid for the Moroccan forward.

French club Lille have already indicated that their forward may leave the club this summer. Boufal joined Lille from Angers last January for just €4million and Lille are expecting to sell him for around €25m (£19.6m) bagging themselves a healthy profit.

Many English clubs have been monitoring Boufal’s progress including Arsenal and Chelsea. The 22-year-old scored 11 goals in his first top-flight season, Boufal went on to win an award for Best African Player in Ligue 1.

French-born forward Boufal opted to play for Morocco and has represented them twice scoring 0 goals.

Tottenham and Liverpool have expressed previous interest in Lille’s star player but only Arsenal and Chelsea have indicated that they would be willing to meet the target price mentioned by the French club.

A worry for English clubs, Barcelona have set their sights on Boufal and his agent confirmed they have already held talks with the Spanish giants.

“We did have a meeting with the leadership of FC Barcelona in the last few weeks. There is an interest,” Yvan Le Mée told Le10 sport. “Now the reflection is whether Sofiane Boufal will go to Barcelona to compete with MSN (Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar) or should he go to a club where he is going to start matches and express his exceptional talent.

The plus side to this is Arsenal are Chelsea will be more willing to give Boufal first team minutes with the forward line of Barcelona almost impossible to break through with MSN reaching their peak.

Boufal looks destined to reach his potential after a very impressive season last year. The 22-year-old’s strengths certainly stand out with his dribbling capabilities being his main strength, his ability to pick the ball up and glide with it is similar to Leicester Citys’s Riyad Mahrez. The versatile forward can play anywhere along the front line and also as a central attacking midfielder, something that will appeal to interested parties as he can give them good strength and rotation. Boufal managed to create 2.67 chances per 90 minutes last season which is fantastic for a forward player, the forward also impresses just as much with key passes, another strength of Boufal, managing 2.51 which once again identifies his qualities. A stand out weakness of Boufal is his discipline, but this is something that will improve with age.

Several clubs are monitoring his situation. Arsenal have scouted Boufal extensively since January ahead of a potential summer move, with PSG also interested in Boufal.

All teams mentioned would be a huge upgrade for Boufal and help him take a bigger step in his early career, he looks destined to leave Lille this summer and only time will tell where he ends up.

Report: Chelsea ‘Consider’ Huge €50million Bid For La Liga Midfielder

Chelsea have had another big offer for a midfielder rejected, according to Sky Sports. Antonio Conte wants to make a number of signings this summer but towards the top of the list is a new central midfielder.

It is believed that Roma have rejected two bids for Radja Nainggolan from Chelsea and now Conte appears to be focussing his efforts elsewhere with Sky Sports reporting on Wednesday that Valencia had rejected a £32million offer for midfielder Andre Gomes. Sky go on to say that Valencia value Gomes at around £42million and Chelsea could return with an offer closer to the Spanish clubs valuation. It is now thought that Chelsea are considering upping their offer to around €50million for the midfielder who has 9 senior caps for Portugal.

We recently reported that Gomes was amongst the midfield transfer targets for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United but it seems Chelsea have now firmed up their interest with a formal offer.

Gomes is similar to Nainggolan in style, they are both box-to-box midfielders that love to contribute to both defence and attack. Gomes is 6 years younger than the Belgian Nainggolan, so Chelsea may be willing to spend more on a player who will offer more years of service or some resale value.

A statistical comparison between the two players reveals that Nainggolan appears to be much better at this moment in time. He’s ahead on pretty much every area we looked at which included pass completion, tackles, interceptions and key passes. If Chelsea want a player who is going to come into the side right now, make a difference and do a lot of work going forward and backwards, then Nainggolan is there man. If they wish to make an investment and take a risk, then Gomes could be a good alternative. The best solution though looks to be neither.

Chelsea are also interested in signing N’Golo Kante from Leicester and considering they want to sign a tireless midfielder, there are few more suitable than the never-ending battery Kante. Kante is ahead of both Gomes and Nainggolan is terms of all defensive statistics, although he may be limited going forward.

With Sky Sports saying that Chelsea are not yet sure about increasing their bid for Gomes and with Roma persistent that Nainggolan will not be leaving, surely signing Kante is the best route forward. Kante has a £20million release clause and it seems he will leave Leicester City this summer, despite their title win. Kante though may have more attractive offers than Chelsea, considering the Blues have no European football at all to offer. Kante could even stay at Leicester and play in the Champions League, so moving to Chelsea this summer would be a tough sell for Conte. But money and prestige talks and I am sure that Chelsea could prepare a very tempting package for Kante to at least consider.

Report: Chelsea Ready Bid To Beat Tottenham To Signing Of €40million Striker

Chelsea are considering whether or not to meet the valuation of a €40m-rated player as their chase to sign a new striker intensifies.

Towards the top of Antonio Conte’s transfer targets certainly seem to be a striker. The Italian knows that Diego Costa may leave, whilst Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao will not return to the club following their loan spells last season. Earlier this week Chelsea were heavily linked with a move for Arsenal target Alvaro Morata, but now they are being linked with a move for Tottenham target Michy Batshuayi.

According to The Mirror Chelsea are pondering making a bid worth £31million for the Belgian international. Batshuayi scored an impressive 17 league goals and made a further 9 assists in Ligue 1 last season, making him the shining light in an other poor campaign for Marseille. It seems the French club have acknowledged they need to sell the striker but are asking for their £31million valuation to be met before entering into further negotiations.

West Ham United were keen but the player wants to either join a bigger club or a club in the Champions League, according to The Mirror. Chelsea and Tottenham fit the bill and have been linked with the player, but Spurs appear unwilling to match Marseille’s valuation with a €15million deal for Dutch striker Vicent Janssen now close to completion.

There has always been a universal agreement that Batshuayi had potential, but it is only at Marseille in the most recent season where he has really shown his quality and started to deliver for all those that believed he was good enough. He is an out and out striker who uses his pace and acceleration to speed past opponents and do what he does best, finish clinically.

It could be suggested that his style is similar to Jamie Vardy, so if Arsenal fail with their bid for the 29-year-old they could pursue a move for the Belgian attacker instead. He is two-footed and uses his quick feet to beat defenders and surprise goalkeepers. He still lacks some consistency and maturity in certain scenarios but he can develop those areas as he gets older. Batshuayi’s goal ratio is similar, albeit in a worse league, but the Belgian, only 22, has scored goals at a very impressive rate of 0.67 per 90 minutes.

Chelsea appear to have a few options in terms of attacking reinforcements this summer and Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and now Batshuayi appear to be the main candidates. All three are young, but Batshuayi is probably the most raw of the trio. If Diego Costa stays at the club this summer, Batshuayi would be a perfect addition, but if he is required to replace Costa and start every week, the Belgian is unlikely to yet be at the level required to perform to a high standard in the Premier League every week. Is he worth £30million? If he fulfils his potential yes, Conte now needs to weigh up whether to invest in the risk or not.

Reports: Man Utd ‘Make Contact’ To Sign 3 Chelsea Players

Jose Mourinho is set to head to Chelsea for transfer reinforcements. According to reports he is eyeing a £150million swoop on his former club. Whether they and new manager Antonio Conte will approve any of these sales is another matter, but if the players do not fit in with Conte’s style they could very well be allowed to leave and Mourinho will try his luck. His former players were known to have a ‘strong bond’ with him and that could influence the decision.

1 – Nemanja Matic

Jose Mourinho wants to sign a midfielder anchor and will turn his attentions to securing Nemanja Matic according to reports. The holding midfielder was brilliant in Mourinho’s title-winning side (2014/15) but fell out of favour last season during THAT terrible campaign. His arrival at United would surely spell the end of at least one of Bastian Schweinsteiger or Morgan Schneiderlin’s future. Mourinho famously substituted Matic 15 minutes after bringing him on at half-time, a morale destroying move that is unlikely to have gone down well with the Serbian. But Mourinho will not have forgotten how effective of a midfielder he can be as he showed in the previous season. This news originally comes from gianlucadimarzio.com, an Italian source that is regarded as fairly reliable. It should be noted that they have only said Manchester United have ‘made contact’ rather than agreed a fee or done anything more advanced at this stage. It may be worth keeping an eye on this one as with Radja Nainggolan and N’Golo Kante reportedly lined up by Chelsea, Conte may be willing to part with Matic.

Transfer Tussle: N’Golo Kante Update – Arsenal, Chelsea and PSG Situations

The future of Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante is certainly not clear, and the player has admitted he will make his decision on where his future lies upon the conclusion of Euro 2016.

PSG

PSG are desperate to land Leicester City’s midfield ace Kante and the Parisians are ready to offer Kante a five-year contract to try and persuade the midfielder to go back to France.

Leicester signed Kante for a bargain price of £5.6 million from Caen last summer after another good coup found by Leicester’s scouts. Worryingly for the Foxes, Kante has a €25m exit clause in his contract which can be triggered by any interested clubs.

According to the Daily Mirror, French champions PSG have already held talks with Kante’s agent about a five-year contract which seems likely to persuade Kante.

PSG have dominated Ligue 1 for many seasons but want to add to their squad to push on in the Champions League. Blaise Matuidi has been a rock for PSG since his arrival in 2011 going on to make 165 appearances scoring 19 goals. We take a look at how Matuidi compares with Kante after both players had a very successful season. Kante, who has been outstanding this season won 3.72 tackles which is better than Matuidi’s score of 2.36. Kante shows he has the aerial presence over Matuidi too after winning 1.13 aerial duels whilst Matuidi is once again behind on 0.79. PSG who totally dominate France are a possession based team, and Matuidi thrives in that area with a 92% pass completion rate, Kante is behind by 10% scoring 82%. Central midfielders recycle the ball and should try and push the ball forward, Matuidi shows his qualities with 43.23 forward passes per 90 minutes which is larger than Kante who manages just 26.94. Both players have been admirable this season but Kante just pips Matuidi with total duels winning 45.67% with the latter managing 42.91%.

Kante was outstanding last season and was a key factor in Leicester City’s miracle. Although Leicester City will play Champions League football next season the Foxes know it will be hard to keep hold of their midfield gem and have already prepared for his exit after holding initial talks with Victor Wanyama.

Kante want’s to concentrate on the Euros and not been drawn into transfer speculation.

“I am a Leicester player. For now, I have not taken a decision even if I have been made offers. It will be great to play in the Champions League. I will decide my future after the Euros.”

PSG will be joined by Arsenal and Chelsea this summer battling it out for the French international with all three clubs interested in electric holding midfielder too.

Chelsea

Chelsea are also in talks to sign Kante, but are also interested in Roma’s Radja Nainggolan. Statistically, Kante is miles ahead of Nainggolan when comparing stats from last season. The Frenchman has managed more interceptions (4.64), aerial duels won (1.13) and tackles won (3.72). In fact, in the five areas analysed, Nainggolan is only ahead in terms of passes completed (85%), completing 3% more passes, on average than Kante.

Arsenal

Arsenal are continuing to pursue a deal for Kante, according to reports. Despite the arrival of Granit Xhaka, Kante could arrive if Aaron Ramsey or Jack Wilshere leave, although that appears unlikely at this stage. Arsenal are instead focussing their attention currently on four other signings, although that may change after Euro 2016, when Kante comes to make his decision.

Reports: Chelsea ‘In Talks’ To Complete 3 Big Transfers

Chelsea’s transfer activity seems to have moved up a gear with the latest reports indicating that the club are in talks to complete no less than three signings.

Their initial targets appeared to be Radja Nainggolan and Gonzalo Higuain, but now those moves appear to ambitious for Chelsea and they have have to aim lower, or closer to home to make the type of signings that Conte wants. Here are three players the papers suggest Chelsea are currently in talks, or are considering to sign.

1 – N’Golo Kante

Chelsea have not been linked with Kante too much compared to some other clubs, but today there are reports emerging from Tancredi Palmeri that Chelsea have held advanced talks with the player and his representatives. The Italian journalist does go on to say that Kante has postponed his decision on where his future lies until after the European Championships this summer. Kante would be a cheaper and younger alternative to Radja Nainggolan, a midfielder Chelsea have been persistently linked with over the last 6 months. Statistically, Kante is miles ahead of Nainggolan when comparing stats from last season. The Frenchman has managed more interceptions (4.64), aerial duels won (1.13) and tackles won (3.72). In fact, in the five areas analysed, Nainggolan is only ahead in terms of passes completed (85%), completing 3% more passes, on average than Kante. Nainggolan is also more effective in attacking areas, scoring 6 goals and completing 41 key passes in the Serie A last season.

The question is, can Kante perform at anywhere near the same level he managed for Leicester City this season? If he can, then it’s a no-brainer for me, Kante is Premier League proven, younger and cheaper. His energy would allow for Cesc Fabregas and other to be at their creative best.

Report: Chelsea Bid €30m For German International, Should Be Enough To Seal Deal

Chelsea have made a huge €30million offer for a Serie A defender, according to reports on Wednesday. 

The player Chelsea have allegedly made a move for is German international Antonio Rudiger, a defender who is set to represent Germany at Euro 2016 this summer.

Rudiger spent last season on loan at AS Roma and they have decided to activate a €10million (£7.73m) option to make the deal permanent. They are now willing to immediately sell the German for €20million profit, around £23million. According to reports, Chelsea have made a bid that matches this valuation.

Now the report comes from the Daily Express, not the most reliable source and they also claim they’re getting their news from ‘reports’ where that is from exactly, they don’t state. My guess is that they’ve jumped the gun with the ‘bid made’ part of the story, but there are plenty of sources linking Chelsea with serious interest and now that Roma have activated the buy-clause, you can expect this saga to speed up.

Liverpool are also interested in the German who has caught the eye of many top clubs with his performances for Roma last season. Antonio Conte will know a lot about the talent in the Serie A and if Chelsea do sign him, you can be sure that Conte has done his homework on the 23-year-old.

Chelsea are keen to add a young defender to their squad despite John Terry signing a contract extension. John Stones was thought to be the main target but now both Manchester clubs look the favourites. Rudiger is a young, fast and powerful central defender who can carry the ball out of the defence also. He is 6ft 3′ and despite his age, already has 10 caps for the World Champions, and he is set to pick up more this summer.

Rudiger makes 1.5 tackles and 3.2 clearances per game. These stats aren’t quite at the level of Chelsea’s current defenders but his age highlights room for improvement. His 86.8% pass success rate shows he is fairly comfortable in possession, should Conte decide to play with such a style. Rudiger is also capable of playing at right back and has even featured as a right midfielder for Roma on one occasion. Despite being 6ft 3′ it is fair to say that Rudiger doesn’t utilise his height enough, winning just 1.5 aerial duels per game and scoring just 2 goals from 37 appearances last season. You may rightfully expect more of a return from a man of his height and a player apparently earmarked to take Terry’s place in the side.

Chelsea ‘In Talks’ To Make Stunning £80million Double Signing

Chelsea are ‘in talks’ to make a significant double signing, according to reports from ‘Goal’ on Monday.

It is well-documented who Chelsea’s target are, but according to Goal.com, despite not yet having Antonio Conte officially in charge, Chelsea have entered talks to sign Gonzalo Higuain and a midfielder – the double signing would cost around £80million.

Higuain, who scored a record-breaking amount of Serie A goals this season, would add significant quality to Chelsea’s frontline and probably indicate that Conte is looking at a formation change, with Diego Costa looking likely to stay at the club. Higuain says he will only consider a move to Chelsea should first-team football be guaranteed and that is only likely to be the case should he play alongside Costa. Higuain has a killer instinct in front of goal, whilst Costa is capable of playing a slightly deeper role. Should Conte be able to get the best out of Costa and Higuain, as a duo they could form one of the best Premier League strike partnerships of all time.

Despite Chelsea’s lack of Champions League football next season, it is believed that Higuain is open to moving to the Premier League as he turns 29 in December and would like to test himself in England before he is past his best. Last seasons form indicates that he is only just hitting his top gear.

Higuain would cost around £50million. The other part of this double signing is Roma’s Radja Nainggolan, whom Chelsea hold a long-term interest in.

Chelsea have already had a bid rejected for Nainggolan and we have kept you updated with all the updates on this story. Recently 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.

After having a £24million bid rejected for the all-action midfielder, Chelsea hope that £30million would be enough of a compromise to land the Belgian international. Nainggolan is a all-action midfielder who performs best in a box-to-box role. Naiggolan is also 28 years old, and whilst the experience would be a good addition for Chelsea, it could be questioned whether spending £80million on two players fast approaching their 30’s is a good idea.

Nainggolan is very different to any midfielder Chelsea currently have at the club. He is a strong, battling midfielder than likes to work further up the pitch than Nemanja Matic. He is less technically polished than Cesc Fabregas and more energetic than Jon Obi Mikel.

With the signings of Nainggolan and Higuain, should they happen, it may indicate that Conte is considering a formation change to a 5-3-2 formation. This would enable Nainggolan to play in a box-to-box role alongside Matic and Fabregas, whilst Costa and Higuain could form a fearsome attack. This formation would also give freedom to Chelsea’s attacking full-backs. It would also allow Juan Cuadrado, who is expected to stay at Chelsea for next season, to play in a right wing-back role.

Chelsea ‘Make Contact’ To Try And Complete Incredible €100million Deal

Chelsea have made contact to try and complete an incredible deal worth a reported €100million, should they pay the asking price, according to sources in France. 

Chelsea appear to have made contact with Juventus for the transfer of midfielder Paul Pogba, a player valued at around €100million by his current club, the news comes from the reliable GFFN.

Pogba is of course in demand and is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe, and he is only 23. Pogba has developed very well in Serie A but it seems as if this summer he would like to move on. Barcelona and Real Madrid are two serious contenders, but the former has financial constraints that may restrict a big money move. Chelsea do not. Chelsea’s lack of Champions League status may come back to haunt them in this one though as there will be plenty of big name clubs with European status that have the money to attract Pogba. At this stage, Juventus surely seems a better destination for Pogba than Chelsea, who appear to view Radja Nainggolan as a more realistic central midfield addition.

There no point in trying to portray the strengths of Pogba and how he would improve Chelsea, because for anyone whose seen him play, it is pretty obvious. The fact that it is hard to name a central midfielder better than him and he’s only 23, says it all.

The real question is can Chelsea really afford to sign him, and make the other additions that Antonio Conte wants to make? For example he is looking at signing a new striker and central defender also, both around the £20million-£30million mark. The lack of Champions League football and the fact that Chelsea are planning to utilise more of their academy products raises question marks as to whether Chelsea are seriously pursuing a deal, or they just wish to stay ‘in the loop’ with Pogba’s future updates.

In terms of who could and would realistically sign Pogba for €100million, there are probably only four clubs. Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. Should Pogba confirm his intentions to move on from Juventus this summer, then you can expect all four clubs to be interested. What looks certain is that nothing will happen until Euro 2016 is over, so it’s best to sweep this one under the carpet for a few weeks.

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.

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.