Chelsea: Gabriel update; new defender targeted; Palace eye striker
Antonio Conte is set to face more frustration in his search for a striker as Chelsea will be forced to wait until at least January if they are to secure Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, also known as Gabigol, according to reports in the Telegraph. The Santos forward is in no hurry to leave his current club and his agent has confirmed that he is more likely to head to Europe in January, though no decision will be taken until after the Olympics.
Gabigol has all of the right characteristics to become the next big Brazilian talent in Europe, and alongside Neymar has shone out as one of his nation’s top performers in their home Olympics. A delay to any deal is a blow for the Blues, who could well have seen him as an alternative to Romelu Lukaku, but they remain among the front runners to secure the Brazilian’s services.
The youngster could be a replacement for reserve forward Loic Remy, with Crystal Palace the latest club reportedly chasing the Frenchman. The Express claim that Alan Pardew plans to invest the £25 million received for Yannick Bolasie into a prolific striker, and the club have begun talks with Chelsea to find out how much their third choice forward would cost.
Now behind Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order, with more strikers seemingly incoming, Remy’s days at Stamford Bridge are clearly numbered. Chelsea will be hoping to recoup the £10 million they paid for Remy in 2014 and that seems likely, but they may also be reluctant to allow him to depart until they secure one of their other targets, which may not be for some time as latest reports suggest that a deal for Romelu Lukaku may take until deadline day to complete.
Another forward on his way out is 22-year-old Brazilian Lucas Piazon, who looks set to leave the club on loan for the fifth time, claim the Express, despite making just one Premier League appearance since signing for the London club from São Paulo in 2012. Piazon has failed to impress and it now seems like only a matter of time until he departs permanently, but he now faces another loan spell, although the destination is as yet unknown, there is no place for him in Conte’s side this season.
There is also a new name on the Chelsea defensive target radar according to the Daily Mail as Torino defender Nikola Maksimovic is lined up as a potential alternative to Kalidou Koulibaly as Napoli continue to stall over a potential £40 million move. With Maksimovic available for around £20 million, he would be the cheaper option, and has apparently failed to report to training over the weekend in an attempt to force the move.
Antonio Conte is a known admirer of Maksimovic, but it seems unlikely that the club will make a move for the 24-year-old as well as Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been their top target all summer. That means that any move is likely to be delayed until nearer deadline day as the Blues try to finally conclude a deal for the Senegal defender instead.
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