Saturday, 14 June 2014

Romelu Lukaku 'one of several Tottenham Hotspur targets'

Romelu Lukaku in action for Belgium against Wales on October 13, 2013.Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly set for another season of heavy spending in the transfer market, with Chelsea Romelu Lukaku believed to be high on the list of transfer targets for new boss Mauricio Pochettino.
According to The Mirror, director of football Franco Baldini has met with the club's new head coach and chairman Daniel Levy to discuss possible recruits and the 20-year-old Belgian international has been earmarked as a viable option.
Lukaku's hopes of a return may have been dashed by the purchase of Diego Costa for £32m.
Pochettino is also hoping to secure a move for Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren, while Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld is also thought to be on Spurs' radar.

Jackson Martinez would be a risk worth taking for Chelsea

Chelsea should move for Martinez.
Jackson Martinez appears to find himself at the centre of a typical modern transfer saga at present and Chelsea have been rather conspicuous by their absence from the most recent rumours concerning his talents

With the summer transfer window rapidly approaching, speculation as to the Colombian striker's next destination has begun to intensify.
The player's agent has understandably been very talkative about this very subject,claiming in reports released earlier on Wednesday that many clubs - including the likes of Arsenal, Roma Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Manchester United - were interested in his services and that Porto were seemingly willing to do business for a fee starting at around the £25 million mark.
Yet despite having been previously linked with a potential swoop for Martinez, Chelsea no longer appear to be considered as serious candidates in the race to secure his signature. 
Whether this is simply an oversight on behalf of the media, my own inability to recognise other reports or indeed a sign that Chelsea really are no longer particularly interested in bringing the 27-year-old to Stamford Bridge is unclear.
However, if it is the latter, I believe it is a particularly bad mistake on Jose Mourinho's part, especially given Martinez's quite breathtaking record and the fact that the Portuguese is obviously in need of improving the quality of his options in the final third ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Although Diego Costa - the mischievous and imposing Atletico Madrid striker - is widely expected to complete a move to Chelsea in the coming days, one can't help but feel that one addition of this nature simply isn't enough for the club to be able to fulfil their typically lofty ambitions. 
In an ideal world, Romelu Lukaku would return to Chelsea ready and able to prove that he is the right man to lead the line in West London following his hugely successful loan spells at West Brom and Everton.
However with a return for the Belgian seemingly having been cast into considerable doubt along with Samuel Eto'o's departure and rumours of potential exits for the likes of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, Mourinho has his work cut out to mould his strikeforce ready for another assault on domestic and European glory.
Costa is a remarkable finisher and a real menace who is not afraid to get involved in physical battles with opposition defenders. As such, he should thrive in the fast and furious world of the Premier League.
Chelsea, though, will need another striker to compliment him, cover him and provide a slightly different option on the occasions where Costa is being sufficiently shackled.
As a pure out-and-out scoring talent with a real nous for consistently engineering himself into the correct positions inside the penalty box, Martinez could be equally as formidable a prospect in English football.
While it is perhaps true to suggest that he is yet to really prove himself on the world stage with his native Colombia, Martinez has been truly prolific during a two-year spell at the Estadio do Dragao - as a scintillating record of 40 goals in 66 games will testify - and appears to be entering his prime ahead of the World Cup.
Given that Martinez's only experience of domestic European football has been in the Primeira Liga where only a handful of clubs are considered to be capable of providing any real test, the former Chiapas man would certainly represent a risk for whichever manager moves fastest to sign him this summer.
However, for Chelsea and Mourinho in particular, I think Martinez would represent a risk that is certainly worth taking.

Mehdi Benatia wants Chelsea move

Benatia soon to become a Chelsea man?
One of Manchester City’s top transfer targets for this summer has dealt Manuel Pellegrini and incredible blow, as it’s believe he wants to reject them in favour of a Chelsea switch.

The Daily Star relays reports from Italy which suggest that Roma lynchpin Mehdi Benatia is set to turn down the chance to move to the current Premier League champions, as he harbours hopes of being signed instead by Jose Mourinho. The Moroccan has been on the radar at the Etihad for some weeks now, and it’s thought City want to bring him in as a full-time defensive partner to club captain Vincent Kompany.
However Pellegrini is now staring down the barrel of an embarrassing rejection, as the 27-year-old, who enjoyed a very solid season at the Stadio Olimpico, has his eyes set on a Stamford Bridge switch. Rated at £30million the Roma man has risen to become one of Europe’s most sought-after assets and, despite the fact that Rudi Garcia is reportedly hell-bent on keeping his best players together to challenge Juventus’ dominance at the Serie A next season, a move to the Premier League is looking an increasingly likely prospect.
It’s said that Chelsea have lodged an enquiry to his current club to see how much scope there is for taking Benatia to Stamford Bridge, which will no doubt make the player himself happy. Mourinho has been extremely on point with his dealings in the transfer market so far, and it’s already looking like Francesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have all but cemented their places in his line-up next term.
However the Special One has earmarked the acquisition of a top central defender, and with his decision to allow backup choice Tomas Calas to join Cologne on a season-long loan only furthers his need to find another option. The ageing John Terry formed a solid partnership with Gary Cahill last campaign, but it remains to be seen whether or not the pair will be able to perform the same heroic feats this time around, and speculation would have you believe that Raphael Varane has also been targeted as a potential addition.
Youngster Kurt Zouma is also there to be considered of course, but rumours continue to infer that he will be farmed out on loan once more next season, and he very much looks like a player for the future rather than a feasible asset for the here and now.
As for City, Pellegrini will have to hope there’s more fish in the sea with regards to sourcing an alternative. With it having been confirmed that Joleon Lescott is leaving the club this summer, alongside the fact that neither Martin Demichelis or Matija Nastasic have been overly impressive when called upon, the Chilean needs to move fast if he is to guarantee defensive solidity in his bid to retain the English title.

Jose Callejon yet to receive Chelsea offer

Jose Callejon linked with Chelsea switch
Chelsea are yet to make a move for Napoli winger Jose Callejon, according to the player's agent.

As reported by The Express, Jose Manuel Quilon - the agent of Callejon - has insisted that no movement has been made regarding a summer transfer for his client. 
Reports have previously suggested that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was readying a bid to bring the winger to Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2014/15 campaign. 
Callejon has certainly impressed many in recent time after scoring 15 goals for Napoli last term. His integral role in the team helped the club secure a third placed finish under Rafa Benitez in Serie A, but it remains to be seen as to whether he will leave the club in the up coming market. 
Regarding the winger's future, his agent told reporters: "I've heard these rumours, but they are just that – rumours.
"There have been many things written and said, but I will repeat – there has been absolutely nothing."
It will be interesting to see as to whether Blues boss Mourinho makes a move for the Spanish ace in the near future. Chelsea already have an array of talent in the attacking department with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian already at the club. 
Blues fans will certainly be excited ahead of the 2014/15 season, however, with Cesc Fabregas already having signed on with the club. The Spanish international joined the Stamford Bridge outfit in a deal worth £27 million from Barcelona yesterday, and further additions are expected at the club in the near future. 
It looks likely that Fabregas' international teammate Diego Costa will add to the club's options in attack in the coming days. The striker was one of the leading marksmen in Europe last term after helping Atletico reach the Champions League final and secure the La Liga title. 
Mourinho is seemingly determined not to go another season without a trophy at the Bridge after the club only managed a third placed Premier League finish last season. With Fabregas signed, Costa imminent and Callejon a possibility, Blues fans will expect trophy success next season. The Blues will be one of the favourites to land the Premier League crown, and will expect to overhaul Manchester City as champions of England

Chelsea re-open Radamel Falcao transfer talks

Falcao won't feature at the World Cup because of injury
Chelsea have reignited their interest in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao according to reports in France.
Attack remains Chelsea's biggest headache ahead of the summer transfer window, and even with the impending arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, they still have work to do in that area.
Samuel Eto'o is on his way out of the club, while Romelu Lukaku's future looks to be away from Stamford Bridge. If that does prove to be the case then Chelsea would have three strikers in Costa, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres. The latter two failed to fire last season and it would be a huge risk for Jose Mourinho to pin all his hopes on a player who has never experienced the Premier League before.
So it will come as no surprise to see Chelsea linked with another new forward.According to Le10 Sport, Monaco are willing to sell Falcao - who is recovering from a knee injury which wrecked his World Cup dream - after just one year in the principality. The Colombian cost in excess of £50 million from Atletico Madrid, and while his goal scoring record was passable, he's said to already want a move away.
The French source claim that Chelsea have pounced on this fact and have re-opened talks for his signature. The Blues were heavily linked with a move for him while he was still with Atletico, but Monaco blew them out of the water with a monster bid.
Of Course Chelsea fans would love to see "El Tigre" at Stamford Bridge - but whether they could afford him remains to be seen. They must keep one eye on their spending with UEFA lurking, and having spent almost £30 million on Cesc Fabregas with Costa expected to cost £32 million, they must be mindful of the purse strings. Of course the sale of David Luiz will offset much of the cost of those two, but Falcao will likely cost at least £40 million if not more.
Of course there is also the chance that Real Madrid could swoop too. Le10 Sport saythey have also reignited their interest, although they may be more preoccupied with securing the services of Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

Thibaut Courtois tells Chelsea to make him first choice over Petr Cech or he will leave

Thibaut Courtois tells Chelsea to make him first choice over Petr Cech or he will leaveGoalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has thrown Chelsea an ultimatum: make me first choice or let me go back to Atletico Madrid.
The Belgium goalkeeper, who helped Los Colchoneros to La Liga during a season-long loan last season, says his future will not be resolved until after the World Cup.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is keen for the 22-year-old to be at Stamford Bridge next season but Courtois says he will only return if he is made first choice ahead of Petr Cech.
‘Do I want to be number one wherever I play next season? Yes, I think with my age and the performances I had I want to play,’ said Courtois, who played 56 times for Atletico last season.
‘To be on the bench is not the nicest thing.’
Courtois confirmed he spoke with Mourinho before Atletico’s final league game of the season when they clinched the title with a 1-1 draw at Barcelona.
Mourinho then spoke of his desire for the goalkeeper to return to his parent club for next season but Courtois expects nothing to be settled during Brazil 2014.
‘It will be after the World Cup I think,’ he said. ‘Then everything will be clear.’

Chelsea eye up £12m move for Dinamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko

Andriy Yarmolenko
Jose Mourinho is looking to continue doing business in the transfer market this summer as he eyes up a £12 million move for Dinamo Kiev’s thunderous winger Andriy Yarmolenko, according to the Daily Mail.
Mourinho snapped up former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas during the week for a fee in the region of £26.6 million and the Portuguese coach is planning a swoop for Ukraine’s highly-rated winger Andriy Yarmolenko.
Yarmolenko, who is 6ft 2ins, has been chased by a number of clubs in recent months and Liverpool have been one of those who have expressed an interest in the Ukraine star.
Liverpool were put off by the £20 million price-tag on Yarmolenko’s head, however,Dinamo Kiev have now lowered their asking price for the talented midfielder.
Like Yehven Konoplyanka, Yarmolenko is highly-rated in his come country and the pair have both been scouted by a number of clubs across Europe.
Mourinho is looking to add more goals to his side with his strikers letting him down last season. The likes of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o failed to produce the goods on a regular basis and that has led Mourinho to splash out the cash this summer to bring in reinforcements.