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Chelsea: Morata update; Liverpool beaten to £28m man; midfield trio in demand

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Chelsea: Morata update; Liverpool beaten to £28m man; midfield trio in demand

Madrid based Marca have provided the biggest transfer news for Chelsea, as they claim that they have taken major steps towards signing Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. Yesterday, it was discussed whether Morata preferred a reunion with Antonio Conte as opposed to joining up with Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, and Marca now believe that a deal could be completed next week for the Spaniard to complete his second transfer in one month.

Real Madrid activated their right to re-purchase the 23-year-old from Juventus for £23 million, but are rumoured to be demanding a record £65 million bid in order to sell him to Chelsea. The striker experienced his first season as a first team regular under Conte in 2014/15 at Juventus, scoring 15 goals in 46 games, and will want to improve on that tally should the two be reunited in London.

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Other possible incomings include Belgian star Axel Witsel, who is reportedly verging on rejecting Liverpool and Everton in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge, according to the International Business Times. They claim that Witsel can expect a massive wage increase on his current £80,000 a week at Zenit St Petersberg should he move to London. With just a solitary year left on his contract in Russia, his club will be forced to accept an offer of around £28 million, instead of the £50 million they were hoping for.

The move could be an important one, with Sky Sports claiming that Nemanja Matic could be set to move to Juventus. The two are similar players, and Witsel would be a like for like replacement for Matic, who has been linked with several clubs this summer. Whilst Belgium did not live up to expectations at this summers Euros, Witsel has been one of the few positives that can be taken from their performances.

Sky also claim that Matic could be joined by Juan Cuadrado in seeking a move to Turin. Conte is reportedly reluctant to let the Serbian midfielder leave, but Cuadrado spent last season on loan at the Juventus Stadium and is a more realistic prospect. Sky claim that they have offered a £1.9 million fee for another season long loan, followed by £19 million to make the move permanent next summer.

 

Cuadrado signed for Chelsea for £26 million in 2015, but has only made four starts since. The London club would most likely want to at least regain what they paid for the winger. The Columbian scored 5 goals in 40 games during his year in Turin and became popular with fans and the club, but would seemingly fit in well in Antonio Conte’s system as a right wing-back. That being said, Cuadrado has proven his qualities in Italy, whilst remaining unconvincing in the Premier League.

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Another reportedly keen to leave Stamford Bridge this summer is long serving midfielder John Obi Mikel. The Express claim that the Nigerian is edging nearer to a move to Besiktas for £7.7 million in search of first-team football after a frustrating few years on the sidelines at Chelsea. The Turkish club are reportedly discussing the size of the fee, but it remains to be seen if Chelsea would allow Mikel to leave for less.

Whilst the holding midfielder has struggled for game time, he has been effective as cover and even appeared at centre back at times last season, so may not be allowed to leave until a replacement; such as Axel Witsel, is secured.

Off the field, the Mirror report that goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon, who formed a close relationship with Petr Cech, has left the club. Antonio Conte is said to be keen to bring Italian national team coach Gianluca Spinelli in his place after rumours that Lollichon and Thibaut Courtois fell out last season. His departure is clearly a blow for Chelsea, but Conte has a more than capable replacement lined up. It also gives way for Lollichon to join Arsenal, who were reportedly monitoring his situation since last summer when they first signed his close friend Petr Cech.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by James Harris.

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