Chelsea: £38 million defender bid; new defensive target; Cuadrado to stay
After some hard-fought negotiations, it now seems that the Blues have in fact made another offer, this time of £38 million, for Napoli centre back Kalidou Koulibaly. The Telegraph report that whilst the club were reluctant to make an increased offer on their previously rejected £34 million offer, but as a top target they have begrudgingly made an offer.
Whilst the Londoners are majorly in need of defensive reinforcements, there are sure to be cheaper options on the market. Antonio Conte is known to be keen and will look to force a move for the Napoli star, but with the Italians reluctant to sell, the club may have to name their top price and refuse to budge.
A cheaper alternative has also emerged in the form of Torino central defender Nikola Maksimovic, with the Daily Star saying that the 24-year-old will be available for as little as £18 million should the Stamford Bridge club make an offer.
The 6ft 4in Serbian would bring height and strength to the Blues back line and could well be a ready made replacement for John Terry in the years to come.
At a cheaper price, he may well be worth the investment for Antonio Conte and co.
There has also been a second offer for a Blues player, with Borussia Monchengladbach making yet another bid for loanee Andreas Christensen. Chelsea are said to be hugely reluctant to sell, and Metro say that they are holding out for an offer of at least £18 million before considering a sale.
Gladbach are preparing an offer in the region of £15 million to test their resolve, and with one year left to go on the Dane’s loan deal, the Germans may well be happy to wait if Chelsea try to force the price up higher.
Barcelona were also said to be monitoring him, but with so much potential, the Blues will not be forced into selling him unless the price is right.
Finally, it is looking increasingly certain that Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado will remain at Stamford Bridge this season. With Conte telling the Evening Standard that Cuadrado fits his “idea of football”, it seems that it would take a lucrative offer to encourage the Italian to part with the winger, who could fit in well as a wing-back in Conte’s 3-5-2 system.
This would signal the start of an unprecedented turn-around for Cuadrado, after his Chelsea career to date has been one of disappointment and unfulfilled potential. Were he to become a key first-team figure under Conte, Premier League fans may finally see the Colombian’s true class at close quarters.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Habergaraj.
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