Chelsea Transfer News: Pedro, Aymen Abdennour, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Latest Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2016

Chelsea's Pedro celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Contrary to recent rumours linking him with a move away from the club, Pedro is reportedly happy at Chelsea.

David Woods of the Daily Star reported on Thursday the Spaniard is seeking to leave the club in January, but according to Sky Sports' Guillem Balague he is not only happy to remain at Stamford Bridge but can't move to another club having played for Barcelona and Chelsea already this season:

The 28-year-old has struggled to make an impact with the Blues since arriving in the summer, accruing just three goals and as many assists in all competitions.

However, the winger remains an excellent and experienced player from his time with Barca and Spain's national side, so Chelsea should be aiming to keep him for some time to come.

After all, though he's had a difficult five months, he's hardly come into an ideal situation.

Even for experienced players, moving to another team, league and country can prove challenging—particularly when they've previously been a one-club man—and with the Blues struggling and a negative atmosphere surrounding, he's not arrived in an environment conducive to helping him hit the ground running.

News that he wants to stay is encouraging, and the Blues should be prepared to keep him for at least one season to show his true colours.

Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

Chelsea have also been linked with Valencia defender Aymen Abdennour. According to Ignacio Lujan of Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t Metro's Mark Brus) the centre-back has struggled with Los Che since arriving from Monaco in the summer and could be available to the Blues for £19.7 million.

Per football writer David Cartlidge, the Tunisian has recently been dropped by Valencia boss Gary Neville and could be on his way out of the club already:

Though Chelsea certainly need to make strides to shore up their defence—they have already conceded more this season than they did in the entirety of the last—the 26-year-old may not be the answer.

At the price reported and with serious question marks over his ability on the pitch and attitude off it, Abdennour represents a serious gamble and a potentially volatile element that should not be thrown into the mixing pot at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues may also find stiff competition for the signature of Paris Saint-Germain star Ezequiel Lavezzi, who is out of contract in the summer and attracting widespread interest.

Francois Mori/Associated Press

Per Sky in Italy (h/t Sky Sports), Chelsea are among the interested parties. However, according to Sky Italia (h/t Lorenzo Bettoni of Calciomercato), the Argentinian is keen on a return to Italy with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus pursuing him.

Per the report, his agent Alejandro Mazzoni told Italian journalists:

I’d like to know his future too. We are working on it but he has six months left on his contract with PSG and he won’t definitely leave his club in the current transfer window.

He could join Inter, because he likes Italian football and the club is interested in signing him, but there are only a few sides that can afford to pay his wages.

He’s not seeking to sign with specific club and he’ll consider Inter’s offer. Milan and Juve have also set sights on him. When a player is available for free in the summer, everyone wants to know more about him.

I speak a lot with Piero Ausilio [Inter’s sporting director] as we’re close friends.

Lavezzi is a reliable performer and hard-working winger who would make a useful addition to any side, particularly on a free transfer.

However, perhaps because of his poor record of contributing goals—he has scored just twice and assisted once this season—football writer Scott Nicholls is unimpressed with Chelsea's reported interest:

Though he's not a truly marquee player and he may not have a dramatic impact on the Blues' squad, Chelsea could nevertheless do a lot worse than signing him for nothing.

According to the Daily Mail (h/t the Telegraph) midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic "is considering leaving" the club.

Jon Super/Associated Press

The Serbian was one of the most important players in Chelsea's team last season, with his imposing physicality, excellent reading of the game and accomplished technique making him a perfect foil for the creative Cesc Fabregas in their double pivot in midfield.

However, Matic has been one of the club's most underperforming players in this campaign. Football journalist Rafael Hernandez noted the contrast in performance:

As with Pedro, Matic has proved himself to be an excellent player, though, and he deserves the chance to build back his form and confidence.

If he's given time and still can't return to the form he once showed, then moving him on is a good decision, but there's no reason he can't do so if allowed the opportunity.


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