Chelsea Transfer News: Blaise Matuidi Monitored, Marco Verratti, Latest Rumours

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2016

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 07:  Blaise Matuidi of Paris Saint-Germain reacts with fan of Olympique de Marseille after the goal of Angel Di Maria during the French  Ligue 1 between Olympique de Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain at Stade Velodrome on february 7, 2016 in Marseille, France.  (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Chelsea are reportedly eyeing a move for Paris Saint-Germain's Blaise Matuidi as the departure of Ramires has left them short in the middle of the park.

That's according to L'Equipe (via Get French Football News), who reported the central midfielder could be open to a Premier League move, but he does remain in PSG's plans and the French outfit are the "club of his heart."

Ramires joined Chinese club Jiangsu Suning for £25 million in January, and despite the hefty transfer fee Chelsea received, they have arguably been weakened by his departure, per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones:

Nemanja Matic has been far from his best this season, and the Blues undoubtedly need to bolster their midfield if they are to be title contenders again next season.

Matuidi, 28, could be the ideal addition as he is vastly experienced at a high level and would add defensive steel to the Chelsea side.

In the 2014-15 season, Matic contributed hugely to the Blues' title-winning campaign as he provided protection for the back four as well as a deep starting-point for attacks.

The Serb's level has dropped hugely in the current campaign, and Chelsea's defence has suffered as a result, but the addition of Matuidi would go some way to solving the issue. He would also be an ideal replacement for the ever-reliable Ramires. 

However, as noted in L'Equipe (via Get French Football News), it may be a tough signing for Chelsea to pull off as Matuidi seems settled at PSG—he is contracted until 2018 at the Parc des Princes—and he is very much in the club's plans for the future.

Elsewhere, the Blues could also be set to move for Matuidi's club team-mate Marco Verratti in the summer, as the Italian is one of numerous targets named by potential incoming Blues boss Antonio Conte. 

According to Kiran Gill in the Daily Mail, Conte—currently in charge of the Italy national team—is the leading candidate to take up the permanent managerial role at Stamford Bridge when Guus Hiddink leaves at the end of the season.

VILLENEUVE D'ASCQ, FRANCE - JANUARY 3: Marco Verratti of PSG in action during the French Cup (Coupe de France) match between ES Wasquehal (CFA) and Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1) at Stadium Lille Metropole on January 3, 2016 in Villeneuve D'Ascq, France. (
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

The report indicates that Verratti, 23, is on a list of targets Conte presented to Chelsea when he last met with Blues representatives.

In the centre of midfield, Verratti could provide more dynamism at Chelsea than Matuidi as he is more comfortable going forward on the ball.

He is less experienced, but he has shown himself to be a significant talent and has worked under Conte as part of the Italian side.

It is undeniable that Chelsea need greater strength in the middle of the park if they are to challenge again for the Premier League title, and either Matuidi or Verratti would be excellent additions.