Chelsea Transfer News: Blues names fee for star midfielder, Spanish interest in Morata and other stories - January 16, 2019
From all indications, Chelsea may be the most active club in the transfer market before it shuts down. After failing to achieve an expected overhaul in the summer, the Blues' board now see the winter window as the last opportunity.
With Arsenal and a resurgent Manchester United hot on their heels for the last UEFA Champions League spot, Maurizio Sarri will need all the help he can get.
Unlike the other Big 6 clubs, Chelsea has been active as regards both incomings and outgoings. American youngster, Christain Pulisic will be joining next summer after a £58m deal was agreed with Borussia Dortmund.
The veteran Spanish midfielder, Cesc Fabregas has already left Stamford Bridge to join AS Monaco in an £8.9m deal.
Here is a look at the latest transfer speculation and rumours surrounding the 2012 Champions League winners:
#1 Blues ready to cash in on star man
Eden Hazard is Chelsea's most important player. Without the Belgian's goals, assists and influence, the Blues might have been lower than the present 4th position.
However, this has only served to increase the desire among Europe's elite to poach Die Roten Tofel's captain. Real Madrid has been the club linked with the player the most and it seems a deal is about to happen.
According to The Express, Chelsea has indicated their readiness to let Hazard join Real Madrid this month for a fee of £100m. This is due to the fact that the player has refused to sign a contract extension with his contract expiring in 2020.
This is a price that Real supremo, Florentino Perez is said to have baulked at given Hazard's age (28). The same report alleges that Los Merengues may look to counter this by waiting one more season before signing him for free.
The midfielder has never hidden his desire to wear the all-white shirt of Europe's greatest club side. With the way things are, he might just get his wish sooner rather than later.
#2 Sale of striker depends on events elsewhere
It is safe to say at this point that Chelsea is in the midst of a full-blown striking crisis. With Alvaro Morata looking like Shevchenko 2.0 and Ollivier Giroud also in poor form, the team has found goalscoring a huge chore.
To fix this, Sarri has identified AC Milan loanee, Gonzalo Higuain as the man to help get the needed goals. However, for this to happen, the club will need to move on expensive dud, Morata.
Spanish giants, Atletico Madrid have been identified as potential suitors. However, according to The Express, the deal hinges on the Madrid side being able to get rid of some flops of their own. Diego Simeone and the board are actively seeking buyers for summer signings; Croatian striker, Nikola Kalinic and Portuguese winger, Gelson Martins.
This is because the team is already dangerously close to overshooting their wage cap of £260m. So for them to be able to afford Morata, some players will have to leave.
#3 Bayern determined to sign Blues starlet
The Callum Hudson-Odoi to Bayern Munich move is one that has dominated headlines in England and Germany. The German giants have made no secret of their desire for the England youth international and have reportedly made several bids with the latest said to be £35m.
According to Goal.com, Chelsea is stalling on the deal as they seek to convince the player to stay and sign a new deal. However, Hudson-Odoi has made it clear that he wants assurances about getting adequate playing time, something the club are refusing to commit to.
Bayern's sporting director, Hassan Sahliamadzic told reporters that the club really wants to sign the youngster and are still in talks with Chelsea.
Stay tuned for all the latest Chelsea transfer news!