Chelsea Transfer News: Superstar manager linked, hunt for Serie A stars and more -13th February 2019
The recriminations from the 6-0 thrashing over the weekend by Manchester City are still reverberating around Stamford Bridge. Such was the manner of the defeat that all sorts of rumours are flying around concerning manager, Maurizio Sarri and his players.
It has been obvious even from the early heady days of the season that this Chelsea side is still very much a work in progress. Sarriball has stalled badly in recent weeks and is in need of tactical tweaks to get the team firing again
Here is a look at some of the biggest speculation as it concerns the London giants:
#1 Big-name manager being eyed to replace Sarri
If the stories are to be believed, Roman Abrahmovic is already considering doing what has become traditional at Chelsea; fire an underperforming manager.
Rumours of unrest, bad results and the lack of a discernible plan B have contributed to the growing stories about the possible exit of Sarri.
According to Goal.com, potential replacements are already being eyed and spoken to by representatives of the Russian billionaire. It seems that out-of-work superstar manager, Zinedine Zidane has emerged as the clear favourite.
The former Ballon d'Or winner surprised the footballing world when he resigned from his position as manager of Real Madrid at the beginning of the season. This was despite leading the side to its third UEFA Champions League title in 3 seasons.
It is believed that the Frenchman's aura and experience managing the Real Madrid dressing room will help him manage what has become a team with a chequered history for allegedly downing tools.
#2 Blues eye Serie A stars
Sarri, the Chelsea board, fans, and the whole world are well aware of the Blues' need for a rebuild. Following the exit of Mike Emenalo as sporting director in 2017, the club's transfer policy has been shambolic, to say the least.
As a result, the club has been saddled with too many ageing stars at the same time and are in need of an urgent rebuild. To this end, players of a certain age-bracket are being targetted.
According to The Daily Sun, the club has identified AC Milan's Ivory Coast midfielder, Franck Kessie as a viable option. The 22-year-old has been one of the better defensive midfielders in Italian football over the last couple of years.
The Blues board believe that Kessie could form a formidable partnership with N'Golo Kante and give the team more solidity in the middle. AC Milan has shown a willingness to sign Chelsea loanee Tiemoue Bakayoko on a permanent basis. This has given the club's transfer guru, Mariana Granovskaia the confidence to approach the Italians for a possible swap deal.
#3 Chelsea to move for AS Roma tyro
The Stamford Bridge giants have a long history of buying from Serie A with mixed results. Now it seems the team is going back with Rome as the landing point.
According to Sportswitness, the Premier League side has identified young Italian midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo as a potential signing for next season. The attacking midfielder joined AS Roma in the deal that took Radja Nainggolan to Inter Milan.
However, the fresh-faced 19-year-old has been a revelation in Eusebio Di Francesco's side with his dribbling, positioning and goal-getting a spark in an otherwise drab season. His brilliance was on full display in the team's 2-1 win over FC Porto in the UCL last night.
The Italian side are eager to get the youngster to commit to a long-term deal but have shown that they are willing to sell at the right price.
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