Chelsea: Midfielder close to move; defender set to stay; Fiorentina deny deal
A move for Marcelo Brozovic looks to be on the cards for Chelsea according to the Daily Mail. They report that the Blues are closing in on a £25 million move for the Croatian midfielder and it is a move that makes a lot of sense. Inter Milan need to sell players in order to meet UEFA’s financial play regulations after spending big money on Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa. Selling Brozovic will recoup a lot of that and he isn’t guaranteed a regular place in the team, therefore Inter will be open to selling him.
He would be a good signing for Chelsea, adding aggression and work rate to the midfield. The Euro 2016 star is able to play a number of positions and that will suit Chelsea as Antonio Conte is likely to change formations often during the season. He will be perfect for the 4-2-4 formation that Conte is moving towards this season. If he does join, it will create more speculation about Cesc Fabregas as the Inter midfielder’s favours a central role. At the age of 23, it will be a good investment for the club as Brozovic is only likely to improve.
The Kurt Zouma to Schalke link isn’t going away, but The Mirror report that Antonio Conte is expected to veto the move. The manager wants Zouma to recover from his injury at Chelsea and be reintegrated into the squad. Chelsea haven’t managed to sign a new centre back yet and it would be a crazy decision to let Zouma leave during this window. He has showed that he is good enough for the Chelsea first team and he will benefit from working with Conte.
Interestingly, the report does mention that Chelsea are hoping to do a deal to bring Stefan De Vrij to the club. He is the latest centre back to be linked with the Blues and another that plays in Serie A. Conte is relying on his knowledge of the Italian game to source targets and this leaves a limited number of options. Although De Vrij is a decent player, Chelsea should be able to attract better and for the price that Lazio will charge, it isn’t a deal worth doing for the English club. If a centre back isn’t brought in before Wednesday night, Chelsea fans will be disappointed, but the club shouldn’t panic buy.
Finally, the Express carries quotes from Fiorentina director Carlos Freitas who denies that Chelsea have made an offer for Marcos Alonso. It was believed that Chelsea were closing in on the left back and that he would join before the transfer deadline. However, Freitas says this isn’t the case.
“So far no club has come to ask for our best players. He (Alonso) is, for now, a Fiorentina player.”
It is difficult to know which stories to believe at this time in the window. Sky Sports had reported that they had expected Alonso to join Chelsea before Wednesday night, but this latest development casts doubts on those claims. If Chelsea do manage to do a deal for Alonso, he would be a good signing, as he suits Conte’s style of play.
He is an intelligent player, capable of playing several different roles. Chelsea need defensive reinforcements and Alonso would be provide cover across the back four. His favoured position is left back and he will provide balance to Chelsea’s defence, which it lacks at the moment as Cesar Azpilicueta is a naturally right footed player. The Spaniard has experience in the Premier League with Bolton and Sunderland, which means he is already accustomed to the style of play. Alonso has developed a lot since his previous spells in the Premier League and could be a good fit for Conte’s Chelsea.
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