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Chelsea Transfer News: Mauro Icardi, Thorgan Hazard Futures Lead Blues Rumours

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2015

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 27:  Mauro Emanuel Icardi of FC Internazionale Milano in action during the UEFA Europa League Group F match between FC Internazionale Milano and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on November 27, 2014 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Chelsea's interest in striker Mauro Icardi has led to Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio confirming the Serie A side wish to keep their prolific striker for the "long term."

Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard believes Inter are unwilling to match Icardi's contract demands, something which could help Chelsea "weigh up a summer move." However, Ausilio suggests the situation will be addressed at the right time, considering Icardi's current deal doesn't expire until 2018, per Transfermarkt.com.

Ausilio's comments were reported by David Amoyal, who is part of Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio's team:

We don't consider Icardi's situation a problem, maybe someone thinks he deserves more but he's serene. He has a five-year contract, and that's an important reality, maybe it was a lot of money when we signed him, if today it isn't enough there isn't an urgent deadline, if not we would see him more often.

We want to lock him up long term, we'll do it at [the] right time and in a way that works for everyone. There is no rush.

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 09:  Mauro Emanuel Icardi (L) of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Hellas Verona FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 9, 2014 in Milan, Italy.
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Icardi could be an excellent replacement for the diminishing force of Didier Drogba. Although not a powerful holdup man like the Ivorian, the 21-year-old is currently enjoying his best campaign to date. This season's tally of 13 league goals already eclipses his previous high of 10—scored while playing for Sampdoria in 2012-13.

Rumours of his departure are currently among the most prominent in football, with others recently highlighted by B/R UK's Ryan Bailey and Matteo Bonetti:

Manager Jose Mourinho always seems to be in the process of maximising the potential of his squad. It's questionable whether Icardi would readily accept competing for a lone place alongside Diego Costa and Loic Remy, the former of which is currently the Premier League's top scorer with 17, per BBC Sport.

Chelsea's immense strength in depth continues to provide Mourinho with a wealth of options, highlighted by goalkeeper Petr Cech's excellent performance during Wednesday's 1-0 win over Everton. Blues fans will be forgiven for forgetting the likes of Thorgan Hazard, Marco van Ginkel and Patrick Bamford are currently out on loan.

Thorgan, the younger brother of Eden Hazard, is one who may give up waiting for an opportunity in the first-team. The 21-year-old is currently on loan at German club Borussia Monchengladbach, where he has produced two goals and six assists in 24 appearances.

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Hazard suggests he could be able to secure a permanent move before the summer, as told to Kicker (h/t Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC): "I believe that there will be a decision before the end of the season—the sooner the better."

This follows on from Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl confirming the club are in negotiations to sign the Belgian, per the club's website (h/t Uersfeld): "We are still in discussions with Chelsea. The fact of the matter is that Thorgan would like to stay here, Chelsea can see a transfer happening and we want to sign him. All three are very positive signs, so we will try to come to an agreement and hopefully get a contract agreed."

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea on the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on February 11, 2015 in London, England..  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Thorgan, while talented, is threatening to live in the shadow of his sibling. Eden has 11 goals and seven assists in all competitions this season, and he has developed into one of Chelsea's key stars. He is likely to be among the PFA Player of the Year candidates, having won the Young Player award last season.

Blues fans may long to witness the two brothers in Chelsea's lineup, but it seems unlikely this will ever happen. Mourinho could cut plenty of fringe players loose in the summer—the club had 30 players out on loan at the start of the season—particularly if he wishes to make room for Icardi.

UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules ensure the west London side cannot spend above their means, meaning the turnover of players is likely to continue for the Premier League leaders.

Stats via WhoScored unless otherwise noted. 

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