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Chelsea Transfer News: Latest on Raphael Varane and Biggest Summer Rumours

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24:  Raphael Varane of Real Madrid applauds during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

By their nature, Europe's elite clubs tend to find themselves doing business with one another on a frequent basis, a number among which Chelsea can count themselves.

In this week's round-up of the latest Blues rumours, the west London outfit find themselves tied with Real Madrid, players both coming in and out of Stamford Bridge sharing links with the Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho's summer project is nearing its completion as the end of the summer transfer window rolls within sight, but the standard of star on the Portuguese's radar is by no means slipping.

 

Raphael Varane

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 20:  Hugo Lloris (L) and Raphael Varane of France look on during the National Anthem prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Switzerland and France at Arena Fonte Nova on June 20, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (P
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Mourinho has already acquired an up-and-coming centre-back talent this year in the form of Kurt Zouma, but rumour dictates that a move for Raphael Varane may still be made possible.

Mourinho is eager to reunite with his former Real Madrid charge as the manager seeks out the long-term successor to John Terry, and The Times' Gary Jacob (h/t 101GreatGoals) says Chelsea are hoping a player-plus-cash deal will convince Los Blancos.

Earlier this year, Mourinho hailed the ability of the French international, per Yahoo (h/t Sky Sports):

I think he is the best young central defender in the world. Already I think he's the best. A young player must be somebody who plays in the World Cup for the first time. These are players like Hazard, Neymar and Rafa Varane. Maybe I forget some others.

Jacob writes that Chelsea are offering Petr Cech in part-exchange, considering they're already at the maximum of 17 foreign players over the age of 21 and will have to sell before they can bring in any more.

ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 30:  Goalkeeper, Petr Cech of Chelsea looks on during the pre season friendly match between Vitesse Arnhem and Chelsea at the Gelredome Stadium on July 30, 2014 in Arnhem, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

However, Real already have an awkward rotation between Iker Casillas, Diego Lopez and the newly arrived Keylor Navas, meaning the Spaniards will surely have to sell one before they can bring in such a stellar goalkeeping talent.

The Mirror's Martin Lipton says Chelsea aren't looking for central defenders, but would nevertheless be interested if a deal for Varane could be sanctioned:

Meanwhile, ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson talks up the Frenchman's ability, pushing the notion that Varane may not be happy at the Bernabeu:

Thibaut Courtois may take the No. 1 jersey at Stamford Bridge this season, meaning Cech's place in the squad would no longer be guaranteed.

However, the Blues would be letting go of a loyal Premier League servant if they were to sell, and as OptaJoe indicates, his statistics have been consistent throughout the years:

With Mourinho's back against the wall in terms of those foreign moves he can now make, it's a question of where the club's priorities lie when restrengthening, with Varane the latest on the wishlist.

 

Sami Khedira

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 15: Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira and  Per Mertersacker celebrate during the German team victory ceremony on July 15, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil match against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro on Ju
Pool/Getty Images

If Chelsea are to complete a move for Sami Khedira this summer, their chances look to have improved dramatically after Arsenal effectively declared themselves out of the race.

David Wright of the Express quotes Arsene Wenger in stating that his club were never looking to sign the German international:

I don’t know who has put him on the market. Whether it is his agent, or somebody else I don’t know. We were never close to signing him. Jack Wilshere has come back fit and in midfield we have offensive midfielders, we have box-to-box players, we have quite a few.

Wright's report mentions Chelsea as an interested party, and while the likes of Nemanja Matic, Ramires and John Obi Mikel already sit as similar assets in the Blues squad, Mourinho may yet seek out a reunion of a different kind.

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague attests that the figures simply didn't match up in Arsenal's case:

Chelsea wouldn't be quite as restricted in terms of the figures they can afford to offer, but Financial Fair Play dictates that a more considerate eye now be given toward spending in excess.

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