Chelsea Transfer Rumors: Hulk and Updates on the Blues' Top Targets
After a roaring start to the transfer window where Chelsea landed prize target Eden Hazard, the club has slowed down in the transfer speculation. This could have something to do with them already spending £32 million to bring in the Belgian, and the fact that Euros have consumed the media.
But there are still plenty of stars in the sights of the Blues that Roman Abramovich may open his checkbook to sign. The team is looking pretty strong right now, but some depth could really help them on their way to defending their European title and reclaiming the English one.
Not to mention that going for seven cups will test Roberto Di Matteo’s rotations more than last season.
Here are some updates on the biggest names still left that the Blues are going after.
This is turning out to be Abramovich’s white whale. For the second summer in a row, the club has been in hot pursuit of the Brazilian winger. Most see him as the answer to the troubles the team has had out wide and would give them quite possibly the best front four attack on paper in the world.
It is already shaping up to be a saga with prices fluctuating between £80 million and £38 million, the level of ambiguity in anything that is “reported” is astounding. There seems that the likely hood of hims staying at Porto is just as reasonable as him moving.
However, if he does move he apparently wants to make it to Stamford Bridge. The latest tale in this story has PSG rumored to be interested in dishing out whatever cash needed to bring him to Paris. But Hulk has recently stated that Chelsea is his preferred choice:
Chelsea are the champions of Europe and any player would like to go there.
I would like to go there more than any other club. But I have to remember that I have a contract at Porto and I am very happy here too.
Just like all good transfer quotes, this answers practically nothing.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Sticking with winger talk, Chelsea has also recently been linked with a move for Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa. The 25-year-old enjoyed a breakout season with the Toon last year, and is currently with the French national team at Euros.
Though not one of the world’s highest rated wingers, he is an incredibly dynamic and expansive player who makes up for a lack of immense technical skill with pace and determination. He would still be a much better option out wide than anything the Blues already have.
The biggest downside of Chelsea not signing Ben Arfa would be that he would likely then go to Arsenal. The Gunners have stepped into the bidding for the winger in an attempt to keep him out of West London.
For Ben Arfa, the best thing for him may be just to stay at Newcastle. It is never a good thing to have two teams bidding to keep you out of another team’s lineup, and not to insert you in theirs.
In what was a surprising rumor, to say the least, Chelsea set their sights on Wigan striker Victor Moses. It comes as a shock considering the depth the Blues already have up front, and because bringing in another forward will only stunt the growth of players they already have.
With that said, it looks like it will be tough to bring in Moses anyway, as Wigan chief Dave Whelan has been adamant that Moses is not going anywhere:
It cannot be for the player's good. Victor Moses needs another year or two before moving to a club like Chelsea. He needs games and he won't be first choice at Chelsea, I wouldn't have thought.
We don't need to sell him with 12 months to go on his contract because he is under 24 so wouldn't be going on a free transfer. Ideally we would like him to sign a new contract, or a club like Chelsea would have to be realistic.
Today, he furthered the appeal to Moses to stay by trying to imply a sense of guilt and basing the rumors on manipulative agents:
We took this lad as a teenager, and everything he has he owes to Roberto Martinez and Wigan Athletic, Whelan told the Wigan Evening Post. 'Roberto has coached him and coached him, he's helped him through games, and he's played him and not played him at exactly the right time.
But these lads are being told one thing now, time and time again: listen to your agent, not the manager.
The agents are just coining in money off the backs of these lads.
If Chelsea really want to go after Moses it will be a tough fight against a stalwart and outspoken 75-year-old.
In one of the quieter moves Chelsea has made this summer, Marouane Fellaini has popped up on the board of wants as a potential target. The Everton midfielder is one of the most underrated in the game, playing a simple game through the center of the pitch that is incredibly effective.
Chelsea’s interest in him probably stems from the fact that the center of their pitch is old and depleted. One injury could spell disaster, and with aging legs, that injury is much more likely.
Everton will not let go of their star for cheap, asking £20 million. A reasonable sum for such a young and solid player, but not being a big name makes it seem a bit over the top.
And that price may be on the rise, as Manchester United have entered the race to sign the Belgian. The Red Devils are facing a similar issue in the middle of the field, and would benefit just as much from signing Fellaini.
In an attempt to perhaps give them more options in the attack, Chelsea have been in hot pursuit of Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin is not considered a top prize for many clubs, but at 22 years of age, he has some big potential.
The Blues were first linked to him earlier this month as talks with Hulk began to stall. Jovetic became a viable alternative, though at £20 million, he is still not exactly a bargain.
Chelsea may not even get a chance to launch a formal bid. Fiorentina has spoken out on the rumors: "In relation to the stories published in the press regarding Stevan Jovetic, Fiorentina owner Andrea Della Valle reiterates that the player is not on the market."
But we all know that everyone has their price, and if anyone can reach it, it’s Abramovich.
What Stories Are You Following?
Being a fan of Chelsea in the offseason is almost as fun as when games are being played. The deep pockets of Abramovich allow the media to stir up transfer rumors around the club and make all of them somewhat feasible.
These are just a few of the many targets that Chelsea are pursuing. So what other ones are you keeping your eye on?
As always, please leave your comments below and thanks for reading!
For all my articles, follow me on Twitter: @thecriterionman