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Chelsea Transfer News: Latest on John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata and Hulk

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  John Obi Mikel of Chelsea faces the media during a Chelsea Training Session & Press Conference ahead of the Uefa Champions League Group E match between Chelsea and Juventus at Stamford Bridge on September 18, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2017

Jose Mourinho is going to be very busy this summer.

Chelsea are a very good squad, but it's clear that some changes need to be made if the Blues are going to win the Premier League.

Even with the specter of Financial Fair Play, Roman Abramovich is not going to be afraid to open the checkbook and give The Special One the players he wants.

Of course, in order for that money to be spent, Chelsea will probably have to part with some players, ones whom the club doesn't hold in high regard.

Here are some updates on players linked in or out of Stamford Bridge.

 

John Obi Mikel

It appears the rumors regarding John Obi Mikel's move to Galatasaray were in fact true. The midfielder spoke with Turkish newspaper Sabah about the transfer, per Metro's Jamie Sanderson:

I have played at Chelsea for a long time and it’s now time for me to leave.

I’m still only 26 and it’s great to receive an offer from a club [Galatasaray] playing Champions League football and doing well in the competition.

Talks have reached an advanced level between Chelsea and Galatasaray. Chelsea won’t make the move difficult and regarding my salary there won’t be a problem. All that is left is for the clubs to reach an agreement.

Should Chelsea lose Mikel, they would need to add another defensive midfielder this summer. Michael Essien is returning on loan, and that's about all the Blues have at the position. Ramires is a much more natural box-to-box midfielder, so you wouldn't want him to be sitting in front of the back four.

This could precipitate David Luiz's move to CDM from centre-back. He's been very good when placed there, and you could see him making the move more permanent at some point in the future.

If Luiz doesn't move, then Chelsea will need to add somebody like Marouane Fellaini, Daniele De Rossi or Marco van Ginkel.

 

Juan Mata

The chances of Juan Mata leaving Chelsea this summer always looked pretty remote. He's a world-class player who is showing no signs of slowing down. There's no way the Blues would let him go.

It seems that whatever possible issues there are between Mata and Mourinho will be cast aside very soon, per the Daily Mirror's Martin Lipton:

Juan Mata’s future at Chelsea is secure, with Jose Mourinho planning to make the Spanish ace pivotal to his new-look Blues.

Mata’s Stamford Bridge future appeared in doubt amid suggestions the Special One was not entirely convinced by the former Valencia man.

But Chelsea will head off Barcelona’s attempts to prise Mata away from the west Londoners by making clear to the 23-year-old that he is a huge part of the plan for the new season.

Mata continued to be superb last season. He finished with 12 goals and 17 assists in the Premier League last season. That was good enough to get the winger named to the PFA Team of the Year.

It's hard to believe that Mata would feel unneeded by Chelsea at all. He's one of the best players at the club and a vital piece of their attack. There isn't a single club in the world where a player like Mata wouldn't be needed.

 

Hulk

The Hulk-to-Chelsea rumors just won't die. He's been rumored as a target for the club for the past couple of seasons. Then he moved to Zenit St. Petersburg and the rumors died down.

After what was an underwhelming first season in Russia, Hulk's agent is trying to engineer a move out.

Per talkSPORT, Jose Caldeira spoke with Eurosport and said, "At the moment we cannot announce anything. The player is focused on the tournament and there will not be anything official during this period. France is a possibility but there are others."

(Note: You can view the original quote here.)

Despite how poorly this past season was for Hulk, he's an immensely talented player. Only 26 years old, Hulk is just now approaching the prime of his career.

The bigger question is where Hulk would fit in at Stamford Bridge. The club already has Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar and Victor Moses who can play on the wings. Plus, the Blues have added Andre Schurrle.

Hulk may get his wish and leave Zenit this summer. Hopefully, he doesn't hold out any hope for Chelsea because it looks like a bridge too far.

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