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Chelsea: Exciting Mahrez development; Matic update; new battle with Everton over CDM

Chelsea

Chelsea: Exciting Mahrez development; Matic update; new battle with Everton over CDM

Following speculation over adidas shirt sales, bookies are now further backing the possibility of a Riyad Mahrez to join up with N’Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge as they make the Blues favourite to sign the PFA player of the year, ahead of London rivals Arsenal, claim the Daily Star.

The move would be a major coup, and send a strong message to Arsenal, particularly after they missed out on Jamie Vardy earlier this window, and now face missing out on another Foxes target. Mahrez would bring quality and creativity to west London, and could well add that cutting edge that was desperately lacking last season.

The move would also come as a blow to the returning Victor Moses, who has been exiled on loans to Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham in the past three seasons. He told the Metro that he is keen to stay at Chelsea this season and play out wide, and so far, there has been no reported interest in the ex-Wigan man.

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One man who Antonio Conte has been clear that he will stay is Nemanja Matic, say Sky Sports. Amid rumours of an imminent £30 million bid from Juventus, who see Matic as the perfect replacement for Paul Pogba, Conte has stepped in to say that the Serbian will be staying, and even promised to make him one of the best midfielders in the world.

The midfielder, now in his second spell at the club, has shown improved form in the opening pre-season games after struggling at times last season, and he is seeking to adapt to the new systems and tactics brought in by the new Italian boss. Matic does not seem desperate to leave, and if Chelsea can retain him then he will be a suitable partner for N’Golo Kante and a major asset for the Blues.

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Another potential partner could be Euro 2016 winner William Carvalho, who the Mirror claim is subject to a transfer battle between Chelsea and Everton. Also in gridlock over Kalidou Koulibaly, the two clubs look set to do battle once again over the £30 million rated holding midfielder who belongs to Sporting in Portugal.

The Mirror claim that Everton currently lead the chase, but Chelsea are catching up as they make him a top priority after missing out on Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan. Carvalho was previously linked with Arsenal, and would be a good addition to the Chelsea midfield as Antonio Conte completes his overhaul of the squad to bring in more players to suit the new system he is implementing.

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The Blues have also received a boost in their hunt for Brazilian striker Gabigol, after Juventus have struggled to find funds and squad space to make an offer following the purchase of Gonzalo Higuain, says the Daily Star. The Turin club are trying to find a new club for Italy flop Simone Zaza, but are so far struggling to convince any club to take him off their hands, giving Chelsea the opportunity to steal in ahead of them with a £25 million bid which they had considered earlier this month.

Gabigol would undoubtedly bring potential and quality to the Chelsea squad, though most likely from the bench. If they are indeed priced out of the move or rejected by the young Brazilian, an alternative is believed to be Swansea’s Andre Ayew. The Metro claim that the Ghanian is open to a move after an impressive debut Premier League season, but Chelsea could face competition from Liverpool and Manchester City should they attempt to seek him as a potential replacement for Loic Remy as their reserve striker.


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Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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