Chelsea Transfer Round-Up: Blues eyeing move for Juventus star, Morata on the way out and more - May 14, 2018
Here is a look at all of the day's top transfer rumours, stories and updates pertaining to Chelsea Football Club.
Chelsea suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon to bring an end to a disastrous 2017/18 Premier League campaign where they finished in fifth place and missed out on Champions League football. The future regarding certain players and manager Antonio Conte is alike, with a lot of uncertainty looming around the club.
But, in spite of all the on the field and off-field issues, the Chelsea board must start looking ahead to next season regardless of who stays and who goes in order to avoid repeating the mistakes that started the culmination of a poor year for the 2017 Premier League Champions.
On that note, here is a look at some of the top transfer stories of the day regarding Chelsea:
Blues contemplating a move for Higuain
Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea's top managerial target and current Napoli boss, Maurizio Sarri has already identified his first signing should he be appointed the new manager of the Blues in the summer.
According to the Metro UK, Sarri is keen on a reunion with former player Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentinian forward played under the Italian for one season, in 2015-16, scoring 36 goals in the Serie A as the Naples club finished second in the league.
Goalscoring was a major problem for Chelsea this season with new signings Alvaro Morata failing to deliver and Michy Batshuayi, who fell out of favour under Antonio Conte before being loaned out to Borussia Dortmund in January.
Higuain has had a fairly below-par season by his standards, scoring only 16 times in the league after successfully breaking the 30 goal barrier twice in all competitions for the past two seasons. He is 30 years old and may not be the smartest investment up front with Olivier Giroud, 31, already in the ranks and with attributes similar to the current Juve forward.
Morata linked with a return to former club
Club record signing Alvaro Morata has without a doubt, flopped, in his first season in London. The Spaniard has been able to score only 15 goals in all competitions and has squandered multiple opportunities that have cost Chelsea a huge number of points in the league.
This has led to Morata being linked with an exit out of England and with a return to his former club, not Real Madrid, but Juventus, as per the reports of Sky Sports. Morata enjoyed a successful two-year stint in Turin, scoring 27 goals and registering 19 assists as well as being crowned a Serie A Champion twice.
Juventus are keen on bringing back the 25 year old to Italy as they look to reshape their forward line for next season in their quest to go all the way in Europe and win the Champions League next season.
Chelsea line up Rui Faria as Conte's successor
In an unexpected turn of events, Chelsea are eyeing former Manchester United assistant boss Rui Faria as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte, according to the Daily Star.
Faria recently announced his decision to quit his number two role at Old Trafford at the end of this season, to bring a close to his longtime and 17 year association with Jose Mourinho and has hinted at taking up a managerial role.
The Blues have been linked with quite a number of managerial candidates, with Maurizio Sarri topping the list but the emergence of Faria's name has come as a major surprise. The Portuguese knows the West London club well since he was present in Jose Mourinho's two different spells at Stamford Bridge.
It looks certain that Conte's time in England is finishing with disputes between him and the board from the start of the season will potentially end up in the Italian losing his job following the FA Cup final.
But Rui Faria, a rookie manager, taking up the helms may not be the appropriate appointment by the Board if Chelsea are looking to reclaim their throne and once agaassert their dominance in England.