Transfer Rumour: Chelsea launch shock bid for Hakan Calhanoglu
What’s the story?
According to reports in the Metro, Chelsea have launched a shock transfer bid for Bayer Leverkusen star, Hakan Calhanoglu. Antonio Conte is reportedly keen on bringing the 22-year-old Stamford Bridge in January as he hopes to finish top of the Premier League title race in January.
The Turkish international has also been linked with Manchester United, but it is understood that Chelsea have now got the upper hand by bidding for the attacking midfielder to bolster their options up front.
In case you didn’t know…
Chelsea have been keeping close tabs on the Leverkusen man with reports claimed that he was scouted by Chelsea in December during Leverkusen’s 1-1 draw with Cologne. Calhanoglu moved to Bayer Leverkusen for €14.5 million from HSV Hamburg in 2014 and has another two and a half years left on his contract with the German club.
Calhanoglu is renowned for his free kicks with the Turkish international repeatedly troubling goalkeepers with his set pieces from long-range. He is also a tenacious forward and can play both as an attacking midfielder or a central striker and has scored four times in 10 league appearances for Leverkusen this season.
The heart of the matter
With all the money Chelsea have received from the Oscar sale to Shanghai SIPG, Conte would like to reinforce both in the stacking and defensive front. Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard are the only attacking midfielders in the Chelsea squad, and the inclusion of Calhanoglu would surely bring in some competition within them and Conte would be able to rest some of his forwards.
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Calhanoglu has been in impressive form this season and has contributed five goals and six assists for the German club in all competitions. Reports also say that Manchester United are interested in bringing the 22-year-old to Old Trafford.
The midfielder had earlier admitted that it would be difficult to turn the Red Devils down, telling Lig Tv: “Barcelona and Manchester United are huge clubs it would be difficult to turn them down. But I have not said anything about any transfers or anything of the sort.”
A Chelsea bid, though promising, might not be enough to bring the Turkish international to Stamford Bridge this January, with Manchester United also lurking. However, if the transfer goes through, Chelsea will be a force to reckon with as they will look to extend their lead at the top.
For Leverkusen, however, it might not be a good transfer as they currently sit ninth in the Bundesliga and losing one of their star players would be devastating. However, the cash should come in handy for the German club.
Hakan Calhanoglu is a brilliant asset for any team, and if Chelsea do get hold of the Leverkusen man, Conte should be able to develop him as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League. Chelsea have been relatively poor from set pieces this season and Calhanoglu’s potential transfer should boost their dead ball stat.
However, the 22-year-old will not come cheap. With age and reputation by his side, and also two and a half years left on his contract, it would be difficult to get him this January. But again, there’s always summer.Published 11 Jan 2017, 20:46 IST