Days after completing a move for champions Leicester City’s star holding midfielder, N’Golo Kanté, the Independent claim that the Blues are preparing a second raid on the Foxes by launching an offer for their Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez. The creative 25-year-old has reportedly turned down a £100,000 contract offer from his current club, opening the door to a move to Stamford Bridge.
Whilst Mahrez is a player of undoubted quality, he does not seem to be one that Antonio Conte desperately needs in his side. Such a move is likely to be a costly one, and Leicester aren’t prepared to let their stars go cheaply. This has already been proven with the fee for Kanté, so any move for Mahrez may well be a long and complicated one.
Another shock move for a Premier League star could be for Swansea City star Andre Ayew, according to the Metro. Having scored 12 in 34 last season, he has a proven track record in English football, and Antonio Conte sees him as ideal for the role of a back up striker. The former Italian national coach believes that another big name would create more problems than it would be worth, so sees Ayew as fitting the profile the club wants.
Swansea are said to be willing to listen to appropriate offers, with Atletico Madrid’s Borja Baston a potential replacement, so a move for Ayew could be completed fairly quickly. The concern for Ayew may well be the risk of becoming the next Loic Remy, a quality Premier League striker who has since rotted on the bench in his spell at Stamford Bridge.
There have been many rumours of late regarding the futures of Nemanja Matic and Juan Cuadrado. The Mirror claims that Cuadrado is set to stay, but now that N’Golo Kante’s arrival has been confirmed, Matic could be heading out of Stamford Bridge sooner rather than later, if Metro reports are to be believed.
Juventus had been interested in winger Juan Cuadrado, and it would be generous to describe his spell at Chelsea so far as disastrous, but Conte reportedly wanted him to join Juventus when he was manager there, and tracked him closely over his loan spell last season. Should Conte field his favoured 3-5-2 formation, Cuadrado would fit well on the right, perhaps more so than the likes of Willian, which may have been a significant factor in retaining the Colombian’s services,
Following the arrival of N’Golo Kanté, it is no big surprise to Chelsea fans that Matic will be allowed to leave. What is surprising is that latest reports claim that he could be allowed to complete a move to Juventus for as little as £15 million. That would represent an £8 million loss on the Serbian, but the club are said to be desperate to persuade him to move to Italy, rather than to Manchester.
Another movement out of Chelsea could be goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, close to a move to Everton, with AC Milan’s Diego Lopez set to replace him as second choice, say reports in the Daily Star. Begovic is said to be frustrated by remaining second choice behind Thibaut Courtois, and is wanted by Ronald Koeman to replace Tim Howard.
Spanish goalkeeper Lopez is already close to agreeing a deal, according to Italian sources, after he became second choice at the San Siro behind young 17 year old Gianluigi Donnarumma. With substantial experience from his spells at the likes of Real Madrid as well as AC Milan, he would be a reliable second choice goalkeeper, and likely available cheaply.
There is also an update on a reported move for Gabigol according to the Daily Star, not long after rumours surfaced that Chelsea had made a £25 million bid for the Santos striker.
He reportedly hinted to the press that he may well have played his last game for the Brazilian club. The young striker could provide competition in the present, and undoubtedly has huge potential for the future. That said, a deal for such an unproven talent is always a risk, and the London club face competition from the likes of Tottenham and Juventus in securing his signature.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam.