Transfer Rumour: Chelsea plot €18 million offer for Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer
What's the story?
Kjaer, 27, is one of Fenerbahce’s biggest stars, but it is believed that €18 million would be enough for Fenerbahce to sell the Danish centre-back to Chelsea. The fee is reportedly non-negotiable, and the Turkish club would not settle for anything less than the figure.
In case you didn’t know...
The Danish international joined Fenerbahce from French club Lille in 2015 for €8 million, and still has 3 years remaining on his contract. He was named in the 2013-14 Ligue 1 team of the season, and was also named in the latest UEFA Europa League team of the group stage, helping Fenerbahce to finish on top in group A, ahead of Manchester United.
After Daniel Agger, Kjaer was the next world-class centre back to emerge from Denmark and at 27, he is about to reach the peak of his career. The defender was reportedly scouted by Arsenal in the summer last year, but a bid was never made by the Gunners.
The heart of the matter
Despite reaping the benefits of the switch to a 3-4-3 formation after the humiliating defeat to Arsenal earlier in the season, Chelsea’s 13 game winning streak was ended by Tottenham at White Hart Lane last week.
Conte sees the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham as reason enough to dip into the transfer market for another defender, and believes that Kjaer can fit perfectly into his system of employing 3 centre-backs along with 2 wing backs.
Having had experience playing across Europe in Denmark, France, Germany and Italy, Conte would have an experienced, yet young centre-back on his books, should the transfer to Chelsea materialise. However, no bid has been made yet.
Fenerbahce may play the waiting game with Chelsea in this transfer window to see if they can get a better deal for Kjaer from elsewhere.
Both clubs are just over halfway through their respective seasons, with Chelsea sitting 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League, and Fenerbahce 5 points shy of the top and in 4th place. Thus, it is even possible that Fenerbahce may refuse to sell Kjaer in January to sustain their title challenge.
If Chelsea do sign Kjaer, he would provide direct competition to Brazilian centre-back David Luiz, whose performances in the last two matches have not been of note. Even Cesar Azpilicueta is under pressure, after putting in arguably one of his worst performances in a Chelsea shirt in the defeat to Tottenham.
With just 5 points between Chelsea, and Liverpool in second place, the outcome of Chelsea vs. Liverpool on the last day of January could have a big say in the title race. It is yet to be seen if Kjaer would be a Chelsea player by that time and perhaps go through a baptism of fire at Anfield.
But there is no doubt that if the Blues do sign the Dane, it could prove to be a very shrewd piece of business in the long run.
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