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Chelsea Transfer News: Paul Pogba Talks Reported Amid Mega Spree Rumours

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 23:  Paul Pogba of Juventus FC looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Juventus and FC Bayern Muenchen at Juventus Arena on February 23, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Matt JonesFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2016

Chelsea are reportedly desperate to do a deal for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba at the end of the season having missed out on signing the Frenchman last summer.

A Tuttosport article (h/t Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star) claims the Blues have already sought to get negotiations going over a transfer in an attempt to jump to the head of the queue in pursuit of Pogba. It’s suggested Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested, and Juve value the player at £80 million.

Turrell claims that, according to Tuttosport, Blues owner Roman Abramovich “has ordered staff at the Premier League outfit to work on a deal for Pogba.”

To have that cast of clubs chasing you, you need to be a pretty special player. Here’s why Pogba warrants that kind of tag:

The Frenchman continues to blossom into one of the standout midfielders in world football and has shown a willingness to take on more responsibility in the iconic No. 10 Bianconeri jersey this season.

BOLOGNA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 19:  Paul Pogba # 10 of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and Juventus FC at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on February 19, 2016 in Bologna, Italy.  (Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images)
Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

In terms of playing style, there’s not much Pogba can’t do. The 22-year-old is technical, physical and intelligent in all aspects of his play, while his ability to drive forward with the ball and open the pitch up makes him a huge threat in stretched games.

As we can see here courtesy of WhoScored.com, he’s also willing to try his hand from distance:

If Chelsea were to muscle in ahead of the aforementioned names and land the Frenchman, then it’d be a monumental coup. After all, all of the sides named are arguably better prospects than the Blues at the moment—the Londoners are unlikely to be in the UEFA Champions League next season, and it’s still unclear who their manager will be for the 2016-17 campaign.

Indeed, while Chelsea are a juggernaut of modern football, if Pogba is to leave Turin, it’ll surely be for one of the most illustrious teams in the game and a club who can immediately offer him football at the absolute highest level. The Blues, at this juncture, can’t guarantee that.

 

Napoli Expecting Gonzalo Higuain Offers

Napoli's forward from Argentina Gonzalo Higuain reacts during the Italian Serie A  football match Juventus Vs Napoli on February 13, 2016 at the 'Juventus Stadium' in Turin. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE        (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Gett
GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has conceded that clubs will come calling for Gonzalo Higuain at the end of the season, with Chelsea linked with a move for the striker.

The former Real Madrid man has been in magnificent form in Serie A this season, and according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, having failed in an offer for the 28-year-old midseason, Chelsea will go back in for him again in the summer.

Sarri, speaking ahead of Napoli’s clash with Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League, claimed he wouldn’t be surprised, per Goal.com’s Dejan Kalinic:

I do not read the rumours and I do not know anything, but I think there will be even more offers than from those clubs.

At this point, I have left the choice completely up to Higuain whether or not he plays against Villarreal. It will be up to him to decide.

Maybe he’ll want to respond to these rumours and answer his critics, but I don’t understand how anyone can find fault in a player who has scored 26 goals this season and shown he is a genuine star.

In the end, its just building up a story that does not need to exist.

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 22:  Head coach of Napoli Maurizio Sarri during the Serie A between SSC Napoli and AC Milan at Stadio San Paolo on February 22, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Cross claims Chelsea’s first-choice striker Diego Costa is keen to leave the club at the end of the season for Atletico Madrid and the Blues view Higuain as an ideal replacement.

He’s got the quality to thrive in the Premier League should he replicate his form from this term, per Squawka Football:

Again, much depends on which manager Chelsea ultimately appoint. Some coaches prefer a battering-ram-style striker leading the attack such as Costa, while others prefer the more technical, predatory qualities of a player like Higuain.

Until the new coach is determined, it’d be a huge surprise to see the Blues pursue Higuain. The Argentina international is in superb fettle this season because Sarri is playing a system to bring the best out of his talents, and while the striker is supremely gifted, he might not be quite so effective in a different setup.

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