Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo reportedly traveled to Italy to watch transfer target Arturo Vidal take on Juventus on Tuesday with Bayern Munich, while new Edinson Cavani rumours have also emerged.
According to a Sunday report by the Daily Star's Tony Stenson, Chelsea are hoping to move for Vidal next summer, regardless of whether Antonio Conte becomes the new manager of the Blues. Conte previously managed Vidal at Juventus.
The Chile international moved back to the Bundesliga last summer, having previously spent time at Bayer Leverkusen, but he's been something of a flop with Bayern, where he has failed to stay healthy and struggled to adapt. DW Sports' Stefan Bienkowski shared this excerpt from Bundesliga expert Raphael Honigstein, summarising his current situation:
At Juventus, Vidal emerged as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world, combining a healthy work rate and impressive physical attributes with the ability to score. As Andrea Pirlo's personal bodyguard, he found plenty of success and led the Bianconeri to several Serie A titles.
Here's a look at Vidal at his best:
Vidal is a bruiser, a physical specimen who needs to be involved in the dirty battles in midfield. He's simply not a good fit for manager Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich, where he's asked to scale back on the physicality and focus on buildup play.
ESPN FC's David Amoyal thinks he could leave the Bavarians this summer despite his recent transfer:
@CAffective he's really struggled at Bayern and has been heavily criticized for his effort- he wasn't even supposed to start tonight— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) February 23, 2016
The 28-year-old's high-octane style of play would be a welcome addition to the Chelsea squad, provided he can rediscover his Juventus form. Vidal hasn't looked his best since suffering an injury in 2014 that held him back during the FIFA World Cup and significantly slowed him down at the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
Bayern won't sell him on the cheap, but they're also unlikely to hold out for a major transfer fee. Things simply haven't worked out with Vidal, and it's probably best for everyone involved if the Chilean gets to move on in a hurry.
Elsewhere, the Sun's Mike McGrath claimed Cavani “has his heart set on England “ after spending the last few seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, with Chelsea and Manchester City expected to do battle for the Uruguayan.
Cavani has been talked about as a potential transfer target for Premier League clubs for years now, as he continues to see the bulk of his minutes in a wide role with PSG, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays in the centre.
The 29-year-old established himself as one of the world's most prolific strikers with Napoli, but his reputation has taken a bit of a hit since he moved to France. He's not a popular figure among the fans, who regularly boo him, and journalists generally don't rate him either.
Per Bleacher Report's Andrew Gibney, it's important to look past the statistics when judging El Matador:
@nick_kituno Cavani is 29...not exactly long-term. Plus he's not very good. Watch full performances, not stats and you'll want to avoid him.— Andrew Gibney (@Gibney_A) February 18, 2016
Cavani has scored 12 goals in 18 Ligue 1 starts—with six more substitute appearances—this season, which are impressive numbers considering he spends most of his time out on the wing, per WhoScored.com.
It's important to remember Ligue 1 defences tend to give up a lot of goals to PSG, however, as Les Parisiens cruise to easy domestic wins on a weekly basis.
Here's a look at some of Cavani's greatest hits:
If the Uruguay international does leave Les Parisiens this summer, he will be courted by some top clubs, but there are major risks involved with buying the forward. If an extended run at his favoured central position sees him return to his Napoli form, Cavani could be one of the steals of the summer, but the move would also come with major bust potential.